Teacher arrested-loaded firearm on school property
A Seminole County elementary school teacher was arrested today after allegedly bringing a loaded firearm onto school property.
Michele McGhee, 56, was charged with possession of a firearm on school property. She was transported to John E. Polk Correctional Facility and released after posting $1000 bond, said Lt. Dennis Lemma of the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.
Lorry Coats, a secretary at Heathrow Elementary, told Seminole County Sheriff's deputies that she was walking across the school's bus ramp at approximately 7:45 a.m. Wednesday when she noticed a cell phone lying on the ground about thirty feet away from the school's administrative building. Upon closer inspection, she found a handgun in a case lying next to the phone.
Coats took the gun and the phone to Barbara Nixon, Heathrow Elementary's principal, who cross-referenced the phone's number and realized it belonged to Michele McGhee, 56, a third-grade teacher at the school, according to the arrest report.
Nixon summoned McGhee to the principal's office, where McGhee admitted that she had a concealed weapons permit for the gun, but knew Florida law prohibits carrying a handgun onto school property. She said that a plumber had been at her home Tuesday, and that she had kept the gun handy for safety reasons.
When sheriff's deputies arrived, McGhee invoked her right to remain silent. When deputies examined the handgun, a .38 snub-nosed revolver, they found that it was loaded with five hollow point bullets, according to the arrest report.
The sheriff's office has yet to determine how the gun ended up in the parking lot.
"That's going to be one of the focus points of the continued investigation - to figure out why the gun was there," said Lieutenant Lemma.