Mother: Kindergartener Put Gun In Backpack To Keep Little Brother Safe
ALIQUIPPA (KDKA) — The mother of a kindergarten student who brought a loaded gun to Aliquippa Elementary School on Monday morning is now speaking out.
Sources said he brought the weapon to school to get it out of his home, reportedly because he didn’t want anyone in his house to get hurt.
The 5-year-old’s mother, Majesta Johnson, says her son found the small handgun on the bed in her bedroom at their Aliquippa apartment. She says he put it in his backpack so his 3-year-old brother wouldn’t play with it.
KDKA’s Marty Griffin: “Your 5-year-old son was worried about his 3-year-old brother’s safety?”
Griffin: “And that’s why he took the gun?”
Griffin: “Let me ask another question you might think is stupid, why didn’t he come to mom and say, ‘I found this?’”
Johnson: “I didn’t know. I asked him why he didn’t want to get me. He said, ‘I didn’t want to wake you; you were asleep with the baby. I didn’t want to wake you or the baby.’ He said, ‘You tell me to look out for my brother, and even though my brother’s not always looking out for me, I gotta look out for him. I’m the big brother.’”
Johnson was asleep with her 7-month-old baby, so the 5-year-old put the gun in his backpack and it ended up at school where he told a student who then told a teacher.
Police were called. They seized the weapon. Now, the 5-year-old is suspended for nine days and could be expelled.
“These zero tolerance policies create untenable situations for children,” family attorney David J. Shrager said.
He says teach the boy and his mother about gun safety.
“He’s a 5-year-old child who did the best he could given the abilities that has. We have to judge him as a 5-year-old,” said Shrager. “We can’t hold him to the standard of a 15-year-old or a 25-year-old.”
Johnson says a friend, she doesn’t know which friend, brought the gun into the house sometime over the weekend. Her kids weren’t home at the time.
Griffin: “Your son could have been killed.”
Johnson: “He could have.”
Griffin: “Have you talked to him?”
Johnson: “Yes, I first explained to him that none of this is his fault, that it’s not. He did the right thing.”
Aliquippa Police and CYF are investigating.
Johnson says she knows she could face charges and lose her children.
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