Counselor suspended after gun found in school-owned vehicle

Counselor suspended after gun found in school-owned vehicle
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(WMC-TV) - A Mid-South school counselor could face charges after reportedly bringing a pistol on campus.

This incident allegedly happened in the same school district where a deadly school shooting made national headlines more than a decade ago.

When a school owned vehicle came back to a bus shop across the street from Westside High School, a pistol slid out from under the seat and hit the driver's foot.

"As quickly as it was found and getting the security staff involved immediately, that diffused that situation pretty quickly," said Westside Superintendent Dr. Bryan Duffie.

Dr. Bryan Duffie confirmed no alert went when the gun was found last month. He says there was no evidence suggesting a threat to campus security or safety.

"As far as any internal investigation that we're doing, until that process is complete, I can't really comment on a lot of those specifics. But, it was found, and we dealt with it quickly," he said.

The Craighead County Sheriff's Office determined the gun belonged to Kami Barkley, who is listed on the district's web site as a counselor. Local law enforcement says Barkley was suspended from her job.

"We're going to work diligently to keep campus safe and secure and act quickly when situations like this arise. At least at the time if there is a need that we need to get information out, we will, just depending on the sensitivity of the situation," said Dr. Duffie.

It is a sensitive situation any time a gun is found on campus or in a school vehicle, but it is especially sensitive at Westside.

In 1998, two middle school students opened fire on teachers and students killing five people and injuring 10.

The investigation into the gun found in the school's vehicle is expected to wrap up in a few weeks.

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