GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Friday, 20 percent of the eighth grade students at North Gulfport 7th and 8th Grade School were absent when the school day started. The ones who were there had plenty of questions and concerns directed at teachers and faculty.
"The students have been a little nervous and a little anxious," said School Counselor Heather Goings. "Other than that, we've been going along with our classes and everything is normal."
As Goings talked with students about a gun being found in the school, she not only tried to comfort them, but also used it as a teaching moment. She said the student who reported seeing the gun to the principal did the right thing.
"We just have to assure the students that we're taking all the precautions that we need to take and encourage students that if they hear things or hear something on Facebook or Snapchat, anything to please report it to us," said Goings.
Although school officials can't go into detail about the student with a gun, Goings did say there weren't any warning signs. Gulfport Police spent the day on campus investigating why the gun and 100 rounds of ammunition were brought in by the student. She believes it was an isolated incident.
"There are rumors going around which are on the internet that other things would happen," said Goings. "We've addressed all of those issues. We've had the police come in and they've been talking and doing their investigation, so everything has been investigated and been brought to us."
Harrison County Assistant Superintendent Mitchell King told WLOX he thinks the emergency response procedure leading up to the student with a gun being arrested couldn't have been followed any better.