CCSD School board member wants better safety measures after gun found at school

VIDEO: CCSD School board member wants better safety measures after gun found at school

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Charleston County School board member says he wants better safety measures, after a teen was found with a gun in his backpack.

Charleston Police say they responded to Haut Gap Middle School in Johns Island around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, and met with the vice-principal and a teacher who found the gun and 16 bullets.

According to the incident report, the 13-year-old boy was then taken to the Department of Juvenile Justice and charged.

CCSD School Board Member Kevin Hollinshead says the district needs to do more to protect teachers and students.

"That's when the SRO [student resource officer] comes and tries to figure out what's going on in the home life or within that community," Hollinshead said. "There could be things that happen after school, that kind of matriculates to the classroom."

Hollinshead also believes some schools should have metal detectors, and teachers should have panic buttons in the classroom.

“We are going to have to work every day to ensure parents’ trust and let them know that, when their child leaves home, they are protected at school,” Hollinshead said.

According to data from the South Carolina Department of Education, 76 weapons were found in Charleston County schools. Of those, nine were handguns. Three have been found at Haut Gap Middle.

Here’s a look at other CCSD schools where handguns have been found:

School Handguns Other Weapons Total
North Charleston High School 1 6 7
Wando High School 1 4 5
R.B. Stall High School 1 3 4
West Ashley High School 1 3 4
Haut Gap Middle School 3 0 3
Edmund A. Burns Elementary School 1 1 2
Baptist Hill High School 1 1 2

In a statement about the incident at Haut Gap Middle, CCSD spokesman Andy Pruitt said,

"We are thankful our students and staff members at Haut Gap Middle School followed through on the request we make that if you see something, say something. Once our staff was notified of the concern that a student might be in possession of a firearm, the police and school administrators were immediately notified, and the weapon was confiscated from a locker without incident. An investigation has determined there is no on-going threat to the school community.

This is a very serious violation of our disciplinary code and we are handling appropriate student discipline per district protocol."

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