1st grader brings box of ammunition to Shaker Heights school

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 9:43 AM EST
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SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - A first grader at Onaway Elementary School handed a classroom staff member a partial box of ammunition earlier this month, according to Shaker Heights Schools officials.

The incident happened on Jan. 17 in one of the schools first grade classrooms right before dismissal. Parents were not informed of the incident until this week.

Rodney McGinnis, a parent, said he was not aware of the incident until he was told by a 19 News reporter. “Luckily it was just bullets and ammo and not an actual firearm,” he said.

Onaway Elementary School Principal Dora Bechtel said officials immediately called Shaker Heights police who responded to the school. No weapon was found at the school and no students and staff were ever in danger, said Bechtel.

McGinnis recalls a school staff member asked him questions related to the bullets two weeks ago.

“She said I guess someone was talking to my daughter—one of the boys at school—and he was talking about bullets, so I think she mentioned it to another teacher, so that’s why they called and asked me about it,” he explained, “That was probably like two weeks ago.”

In the statement, Bechtel added they have now increased security presence at the school. McGinnis also said he feels his children are safe at the school: “I still feel like it’s pretty safe here at Shaker, I’ve never heard of anything like that.”

19 News reached out to Onaway Elementary and the Shaker Heights Police Department, but no one made themselves available for a comment.

Shaker Heights police will be joining the Onaway PTO Principal Chat on Feb. 27 to discuss gun safety in the community and other issues of interest.

McGinnis hopes this is just a one-time incident: “You send your kids out into the world and you just got to hope they’re protected, and other people are protecting them, it’s a scary thing to think about.”