NEWTOWN, Conn. – A middle school teacher was charged Wednesday after he was found carrying a gun at school, police said.
Officers were called to the school after officials called about 9 a.m. to say science teacher Jason M. Adams had come to the school with a concealed firearm, police said. Security personnel had detained him at that time.
After an initial investigation by police and school district administration, Adams, who has a valid pistol permit, was charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds.
School officials said that Adams, a science teacher at the school, was placed on leave pending the results of their investigation. Police said that Adams had also violated a school policy.
“This matter is very serious and troubling, both the Newtown Public School system and the Newtown Police Department took immediate steps to address the matter. The teacher was immediately detained by security personnel,” the school system said in a statement.
“Both agencies have been working closely together to investigate the incident and are taking precautions to ensure the continued safety of our students, staff and community members,” the school system added.
The police chief said authorities have contacted the state’s licensing and permit unit to make them aware of Adams’ arrest on Wednesday.
Calls to Adams for comment were not immediately returned.
Adams, 46, was released without posting bond and was scheduled to appear in Danbury Superior Court on April 20.
In December of 2012, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, killing 20 first-grade students and six adults.
Sandy Hook Promise, a group formed after the 2012 shooting by several victims’ parents, said in a statement: “We commend the Newtown Police Department and Newtown Public Schools for their thoughtful handling of the arrest of science teacher Jason Adams for violating the law by bringing a weapon onto school grounds.”
Following the shooting, Newtown officials placed armed police officers in every school. They have since replaced them with armed school security officers, who are mostly retired officers.
The security officer assigned to the middle school is a retired Shelton police officer. He disarmed Adams and held him in the school office until police arrived and arrested him.
The entire school system had a two-hour delay Wednesday because of staff meetings, so students weren’t in the building when another teacher noticed Adams was carrying the weapon and alerted school officials.
It is unclear why Adams took the gun to school.
“We disagree with the law as far as permit holders not being able to carry on school grounds,” said Scott Wilson, president of Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a group that advocates for gun owners’ rights. “However, the law is the law and hopefully this person had the intent to protect students from harm’s way in a worst case scenario.”
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