Guns found on campuses raise concerns

Mary G. Montgomery

An unloaded gun found Wednesday, January 22 at Mary G. Montgomery high school in Semmes has raised concern for some parents. It’s the second gun found at a Mobile County Public School in the past week. The first was a loaded handgun at BC Rain.

What seems to be getting the most attention out of these two cases is how the situations were handled. Last week a loaded handgun at BC Rain was found on a student and parents were notified. On Wednesday, an unloaded handgun was found in a backpack at MGM and parents were notified.

FOX10 News asked Mobile County Public School Superintendent what the difference is between the two cases.

“We have a very, very diverse school system. We don’t have a cookie cut pattern for any of our schools, and so we rely on the leadership of the schools to make those determinations,” said Peek.

“The reality is, is that kids are bringing weapons to school, and there’s got to be a way to prevent it,” said Tracy Kroll. She has a son who attends MGM.

“I found out about the gun on campus yesterday from a recorded phone call from the principal, Mr. Gill. I can honestly say that I felt okay about the situation yesterday. He said there was an unloaded gun found on a student and that it was removed from the premises. After the last incident, it was by far a huge improvement by the way was handled,” said Kroll.

However, one parent did not receive a phone call.

“My concern is that at what point are the parents know going to be notified? Do we have to have a Sandy Hook or a Columbine situation to occur and then parents are notified after the horrible tragedy such as that and we don’t want that to happen,” said Tajauna Lewis.

“What happens with how the that a principal alerts the parents about what may be taking place is really at the discretion of the principal. Each principal knows the school community; they all have different ways of communicating. But we recognize in the Mobile County public school system that each community is different. There is a safety plan for the Mobile County public school system and one and one for each school,” said Peek.

The question still remains: Why is that the case?

“We cover an area that is as large as the state of Rhode Island. When you do that then you have to rely on the related on the leadership in your school in order to make those decisions. They’re the ones that are in constant contact with the area, with not only the students but the community and the parents. So they’re the ones that really are the first line of communication and need to be the decision-makers in that instance,” said Peek.

“Parents, we have to be assured that her children safety is number one priority every day every day and if it’s not then somebody has failed,” said Lewis.

“This is our consistent message is saying is that safety is of utmost importance,” said Peek.

On Thursday, random security checks were made at area high schools within the school system.

FOX10 News reached out to school board members for BC Rain and MGM, Mr. Douglas Harwell and Mrs. Tracie Roberson, respectively, but did not get a response.

FOX10 News will continue to follow this story for you.

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