TIME Pennsylvania

Teacher Arrested After Leaving a Loaded Pistol in Elementary School Bathroom

Four children used the bathroom before one discovered the stray weapon

(CHAMBERSBURG, Pa.) — A teacher at a Christian school accidently left her loaded pistol in a bathroom, where elementary school children found it, state police said Tuesday.

Beth Jean Dixon, 63, put her holstered pistol on a toilet tank when she used the unisex, one-toilet bathroom Aug. 25 at Cumberland Christian School, in Chambersburg, police said. They said she forgot about it and left.

Four children, ages 6 to 8, used the bathroom while the gun was on the toilet. One child told his parent, who told a teacher.

Dixon informed administrators of what happened and immediately resigned from the school, police said.

No one was injured.

Before the incident, the school did not have any policies regarding guns on school grounds, the Rev. Mike Sanders, the school president, said Tuesday. School officials have now created a temporary policy banning weapons unless they are approved by the administration. It still must be approved by the school board, which meets again Sept. 19.

“We’re thankful because it could have been a lot worse,” he said. He was heartened to learn the children’s parents had talked to them about never touching a weapon and telling an adult if they ever find one. He said he hoped the ordeal would encourage other parents to do the same.

Dixon has been charged with crimes including reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of children.

No attorney information or phone listing was available for her.

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