No one was injured Tuesday when a handgun inside a student's backpack discharged outside shortly before dismissal at Bethune Community School on the North Side, the school district said.

According to spokeswoman Rachel Hicks, the firing was considered accidental and happened around 3 p.m., or about 10 minutes before students are dismissed, so few students were nearby.  Some may have heard the shot or witnessed smoke from the discharge, she said.

She said that an initial Internet report that the student was a second grader was incorrect. The district sent a mass e-mail to Bethune parents to notify them.

Hicks said that police were interviewing the parents of the student, school staff and a school bus driver who was nearby when the gun discharged.  That caused the driver's route to run about 30 to 45 minutes late, she said. 

Bethune is at 919 Emerson Av. N. and enrolled 339 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grades as of early April.