TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – According to a post on the Pleasant Grove Independent School District Facebook page, a loaded handgun was found on a Bowie County Transportation school bus at the middle school Thursday morning.
At 10:20 a.m., the post states that a student who was loading the bus reported the firearm to the bus driver, who immediately secured the scene and notified campus administration.
Officials said they found that the firearm belonged to a Bowie County Transportation Department and Pleasant Grove ISD employee who has a concealed handgun license. Officials said the employee boarded the bus to be shuttled to another district location and video confirmed the firearm fell out of its holster onto the seat when the employee was getting off of the bus.
Officials said that students later boarded the bus to shuttle to the high school campus and a student discovered the handgun prior to departure. School officials said at no time did a student make contact with the firearm.
According to the district, the Pleasant Grove ISD employee handbook states that employees are not permitted to carry a firearm at work. The employee handbook states, “Employees, visitors, and students, including those with a license to carry a handgun, are prohibited from bringing firearms, knives, clubs or other prohibited firearms onto school premises (i.e., building or portion of a building) or any grounds or building where a school-sponsored activity takes place.”
The district would not comment on the status of the employee involved, stating they don’t comment on personnel matters.
Superintendent Chad Pirtle said, “Providing a safe learning environment for our students and staff is our highest priority … I want to commend the student who reported the firearm, the bus driver who secured the scene, our middle school administrative team, and the Texarkana, Texas Police Department for their diligence in handling the situation promptly and appropriately.”