Charges dropped against third-grade teacher who took gun to school
Rene Stutzman | Sentinel Staff Writer
9:29 AM EDT, July 21, 2008
SANFORD - A third-grade teacher arrested for taking a gun onto school property was set for trial today, but prosecutors dropped all charges.
Michelle McGhee, 56, of Sanford, was arrested Dec. 12, after a secretary at Heathrow Elementary School discovered a snub-nosed .38-caliber revolver near the bus ramp. Nearby was McGhee's cell phone.
McGhee admitted the gun was hers. She told authorities that she has a concealed weapons permit but brought the gun to school inadvertently.
Her attorney, Robert Fisher, said today that McGhee had stacked her school belongings together the night before, inadvertently placed her gun among them, then the next morning grabbed up everything, placed them in her car, then unloaded them in the school parking lot and wheeled them inside.
The gun and her cell phone apparently fell off as she was walking toward the building, he said.
"Looked like clearly it was an accident," said Fisher. "She's not a danger to anybody."
McGhee was charged with two misdemeanors -- possessing a firearm on school property and culpable negligence. Had she been convicted, she faced a maximum sentence of one year in jail.
Assistant State Attorney Matthews Bark said the state dropped charges because whatever happened, it was not a crime
The Seminole County School Board suspended McGhee shortly after her arrest.
She has been a teacher for 25 years, Fisher said.