Police: Mom of boy who brought gun to school in backpack charged

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MONROEVILLE, Pa. - The mother of a 6-year-old boy who brought a loaded .45-caliber handgun to an elementary school in the Gateway School District Wednesday is facing several charges, according to police.
 
Stephanie Roth, 31, has been charged with reckless endangering another person, endangering the welfare of a child and possession of drug paraphernalia.
 
Only Channel 11 was there Wednesday night as the grandmother left the Monroeville Police Department.  She was with her grandson who police questioned about allegedly bringing the gun to school.
 
Monroeville Police Chief Doug Cole said the boy immediately turned over the gun after he realized he brought it to Ramsey Elementary School in his backpack Wednesday morning.
 
"The investigation found that there was a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun that was loaded, that was brought into school in the backpack of a 6-year-old male,” Cole said.
 
Authorities said they believe the child didn’t know the gun was in his backpack until he saw it at school.
 
“The child was brought to the office, along with the weapon, police were called, and everything else continued in school as it was because there was no reason to do anything differently. There was no danger at that point,” said Gateway Regional Superintendent Dr. Nina Zetty.
 
Gateway School District officials called police, who searched the child's home.
 
Cara Zanella, the director of communications for Gateway School District, said parents were made aware of the incident through an automated-calling system and emails Wednesday morning.
 
“After the Franklin Regional situation, we did review our safety measures, talked with our staff, asked that they tell our children to report anything unusual - and that's what happened today,” Zetty said.
 
As a result of the incident, Zetty has banned all backpacks for the remainder of the school year for students in kindergarten through fourth grade.
 
About 300 students in kindergarten through fourth grade attend Ramsey Elementary.

The Associated Press and Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.