Florida teacher arrested after allegedly bringing loaded gun into classroom

A fourth-grade teacher was arrested Monday after allegedly bringing a loaded gun and two knives into her classroom at Starkey Elementary School in Seminole, Fla., officials said.

Betty Jo Soto, 49, faces two misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon after police discovered a Glock 9mm pistol loaded with seven bullets “hidden” in a backpack, according to the arrest report. It was unclear if students were in the classroom.

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Pinellas County Schools Police said they also found a six-inch Karambit fighting knife concealed in Soto’s pants pocket and a two-inch finger push knife in her backpack strap.

A Florida teacher faces two misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon after bringing a loaded gun and two knives into a classroom.

A Florida teacher faces two misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon after bringing a loaded gun and two knives into a classroom. (Pinellas County Jail)

Officials said Soto was acting suspiciously and carried the backpack with her on campus.

Soto had a concealed weapons permit, but the license does not allow someone to bring a weapon onto school property, an official said. The elementary school recently chose not to renew Soto’s teaching contract for the upcoming school year, but the official declined to say when Soto was notified, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

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Soto was arrested and booked into the Pinellas County Jail around 1:45 p.m. before being released later on $500 bail, the Tampa Bay Times reported.