SAN ANTONIO – A student at the Harlandale school district has been expelled and arrested for bringing a gun to school.
District spokeswoman Leslie Garza says 23-year-old Cory Cardenas was caught with a .22 caliber handgun Thursday morning at Frank Tejeda Academy on Southeast Loop 410 near Roosevelt. Garza says he was enrolled in a GED program at the school.
Garza says the gun was not loaded, but it’s still against the law to have a weapon on school property so Cardenas faces a criminal charge of “Places Weapons Prohibited.”
The district credits vigilant students with speaking up when they thought they heard something suspicious.
Garza says students inside a school bathroom heard a “clicking” sound and immediately alerted teachers.
"A lot of times, students are afraid to speak up so we're really glad that they did,” she said.
Garza said when administrators questioned Cardenas he was cooperative and turned over the gun.
"This student was trying to get his GED,” Garza said. “He was trying to work toward something, but for whatever reason he felt like he needed to carry a handgun for personal issues."
Garza said the district did not consider Cardenas a threat to student safety, and even though he did not have ammunition for the gun, he faced automatic expulsion.
"No one is allowed to carry a concealed handgun on our campuses,” Garza said. “Not a student, not a parent, not a staff member."
Signs all over Harlandale ISD property clearly state it’s against the law to have a weapon on campus.
Garza called Thursday morning’s incident a textbook example of how students can be the eyes and ears to protect the school, and if they suspect a potential threat, they need to report it.