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Teacher's Aide Fired After Bringing Gun To School

Gillian J. Jeffords Photo Credit: Clarkstown Police Department
The gun carried to school by a teacher's aide. Photo Credit: Clarkstown Police Department

A 24-year-old teacher's aide who was arrested for bringing a gun to a school in her purse has been fired.

Gillian J. Jeffords, 24, of Warwick, was fired Wednesday evening, effective immediately, from the Jesse Kaplan School of the BOCES Campus in West Nyack, according to Scott Salotto, director of communications for BOCES.

"The Board of Education met last night and a decision was made to terminate Ms. Jeffords," he said. "She was informed last night."

The discovery of the gun took place around 9 a.m. Wednesday when the Clarkstown Police Department responded to the school located on Parrott Road, said Clarkstown Officer Peter Walker.

According to Walker, officials at the school for students with Autism, cognitive disabilities, medical fragility and/or multiple disabilities, called police after a fellow staff member noticed a handbag containing, what was later identified as, a black Ruger 9mm handgun, which was located in a staff closet.

At the time the weapon was found, the classroom was only occupied by fellow staff members. The school initiated a lockdown. It was determined by the school principal and the School Resource Officer Michael Maloney that the gun was the property of Jeffords.

Jeffords was arrested and charged with felony criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds. She was released on an appearance ticket and will return to Clarkstown Criminal Court on May 7.

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