Gun found in substitute teacher’s car at Colonial Elementary

In an email to parents of Colonial Elementary School in Plymouth Meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michael Christian provided details on the discovery of a gun in an illegally parked vehicle at the school that belonged to a substitute teacher. The incident occurred on May 20th.

According to the email, a Colonial School District security officer discovered the gun while trying to determine the owner of the illegally parked vehicle that would have hampered the flow of traffic at dismissal. The Whitemarsh Police Department was called to the scene and when the owner of the vehicle was discovered the person was removed from campus.

The substitute, who was provided by an outside vendor, will no longer be allowed to teach at Colonial School District schools. The Whitemarsh Police Department is also investigating the matter.

Below is the text of the email from Dr. Christian.

Dear Colonial families,

I am contacting you with an important update regarding a situation that occurred today in the Colonial Elementary School parking lot. This afternoon, one of our Colonial Security guards noticed that a car was parked illegally and which would interfere with our dismissal process. Our security officer remained with the vehicle in anticipation of the owner’s return. In an effort to identify the owner of the vehicle, the security officer discovered a firearm in the vehicle.

As per our protocol, our CSD guard immediately contacted the Whitemarsh Police Department, the CSD District Safety Officer, and Mrs. Rock, the CES principal. The Whitemarsh Police arrived at the school within moments. The owner of the vehicle returned as the police arrived. The Whitemarsh Police removed the individual from our campus and are continuing investigating the situation. The individual in question is not an employee of the district but does work for the Substitute Service with which we contract. This individual will not be permitted to return to Colonial School District.

At no time were students or staff in harm’s way, and a lockdown was not ordered since the vehicle was unoccupied and monitored at all times once discovered by security. However, the Colonial School District strictly prohibits the possession of a weapon on school property. Furthermore, it is a violation of state law to possess a weapon on school grounds. We appreciate the swift response from the Whitemarsh Police Department. The safety and welfare of our students and staff is of paramount importance.


Michael L. Christian Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Colonial School District