At approximately 10:20 a.m., a loaded handgun was found on a Bowie County Transportation school bus at Pleasant Grove Middle School. A student who was loading the bus reported the firearm to the bus driver, who immediately secured the scene and notified campus administration. Campus administration and Texarkana, Texas Police Department School Resource Officer, Pete Mann, immediately began investigating.
The results of the investigation found that the firearm belonged to a Bowie County Transportation Department and Pleasant Grove ISD employee who has a Concealed Handgun License. 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. Students later boarded the bus to shuttle to the high school campus and a student discovered the handgun prior to departure. At no time did a student make contact with the firearm.
Pleasant Grove ISD does not permit employees 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.”
“Providing a safe learning environment for our students and staff is our highest priority in Pleasant Grove ISD,” said Superintendent Chad Pirtle. “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.”