DELAND, Fla. — A Florida high school student was charged on Tuesday after officers recovered a cell phone case that resembled a novelty handgun.
Just before 9:30 a.m., a DeLand High School teacher informed police that a student had seen another student in possession of a possible handgun.
Out of precaution, the school was placed on lockdown.
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Once the student was located, the teen was taken into custody without incident.
The 15-year-old male student was searched and officers found a cell phone case molded to resemble a handgun.
The student was charged with disruption of an educational institute, a misdemeanor.
DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger stressed the importance of communicating potential danger to authorities.
“We know that kids will be kids, but in today’s world we must be vigilant,” he said. “I want to express to all of our young people out there that they should always feel comfortable coming forward with information. Even if you’re not sure, we want to know. We don’t know what we don’t know, so whether a potential threat is made through Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or something else. Take a screenshot and send it over. You never know, you could be saving the lives of your friends."
Chief Umberger also questioned the need for cell phone accessories that look like handguns.
“It makes no sense that cell phone accessories are being made to look like handguns and it makes no sense that gun manufacturers are making fatal weapons into novelties like pink handguns. But this is the reality that we are living with and what my officers have to be aware of to keep our community safe,” he said.
“The timing of this incident is unfortunate, as everyone in our community is on high alert after the tragic events that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. I want everyone in our community to know that we take threats to our schools with the highest priority and DeLand Police will not compromise at all when it involves the safety our students.”
Mary Stringini is a Digital Producer for ABC Action News. Follow her on Twitter @MaryWFTS.