Lebanon Middle School teacher charged for bringing a gun to school

LEBANON, Pa. - A Lebanon County Middle School teacher is in hot water after bringing a gun to school. Lebanon City Police formally filed charges against the man following a week-long investigation.

It was April 12th, when a custodian found a gun inside the middle school. According to the police affidavit, the handgun was in a nylon zipper case inside a backpack. The gun legally belonged to 41-year-old Lebanon Middle School teacher Chad Thomas. Police say, Thomas admitted to bringing the backpack to school but completely forgot he put the gun in there.

“We don’t believe that at any point other than the inherent danger of the fact that the backpack contained the firearm, and the firearm was in the school," said Lebanon City Police Chief Todd Breiner. "We don’t believe that there was any other danger to staff or to the students.”

Thomas is now facing a misdemeanor charge for possession of a weapon on school property. The charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, along with a fine of up to $10,000.

The Lebanon School District issued a statement that said in part, "We do not condone this teacher’s behavior. The teacher will remain removed from all district buildings indefinitely until the district has a better understanding of how legal proceedings may conclude."

Chief Breiner hopes this incident sends an important reminder to all gun owners.

“Know where your firearms are, where you store them and secure them up appropriately," said Chief Breiner. "You have to be a responsible gun owner."

A preliminary hearing will be set for Thomas once he formally receives a letter of his charges.