PULASKI COUNTY, AR -- Jacksonville High English teacher Jennifer Paul will be back with the PCSSD but under some stipulations. She's suspended without pay and won't be back until next school year at a different school. Plus, she'll be on probation for two years.
"We can't have handguns on campuses, needless to say because of the obvious danger," said Paul Brewer, PCSSD's human resources director.
Brewer said Superintendent Jerry Guess recommended termination for Paul, but a three member panel organized to handle terminations and expulsions recommended suspension.
"The committee felt like it was accidental and that she did not mean to take the gun. She had it over the weekend, possibly, and forgot to take it out of her purse," Brewer said.
In that hearing, Paul's supporters spoke in her favor. Transcripts released by the district detail a former student's testimony as saying: "Mrs. Paul was the type of teacher who made sure every student in her class got an equal opportunity. She made sure the students were first."
The panel upheld the superintendent's recommendation to expel the student who took the gun out of the teacher's purse. Even though Paul has a weapons permit, Brewer said the campus has zero tolerance for weapons -- even if you forget to leave it elsewhere.
"You always think about the worst-case scenario and you're a school administrator but fortunately, this time that did not happen," said Brewer.