HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — One student was found with a gun at Lee/New Century High School. Another was found with a gun at Jemison High School. Huntsville City Schools shared information about both incidents before an afternoon news conference.
In statements earlier today, Huntsville City Schools said:
A student is facing disciplinary action after bringing a firearm to school today. The weapon was discovered without incident, and the student was promptly removed from campus. The student will face disciplinary action in accordance with the district’s Behavioral Learning Guide (BLG).
We thank our students for following the “see something, say something” protocol to bring this matter to our attention. We continue to ask families for their support in ensuring students are unable to access any items that may be harmful to their health and safety. We also thank the HCS Security Team and the Huntsville Police Department for their rapid response. (Lee/New Century)
A student was removed from campus today after being discovered in possession of a firearm. The student will be disciplined in accordance with the district’s Behavioral Learning Guide (BLG). Please ensure your students are unable to access any weapons or items that can put their safety and wellbeing at risk. We ask families to speak with their student about “see something, say something” to report any suspicious activity to a teacher or administrator. Additionally, we remind everyone of our Anonymous Alerts platform to make us aware any concerns. Thank you to the HCS Security Team and the Huntsville Police Department for their support. (Mae C. Jemison High School)
This is a developing story. FOX54 will share additional information as it becomes available.
Huntsville City Schools Superintendent sent out the following email:
This evening, I am continuing to ask for your help in addressing an issue we are facing in Huntsville and school districts are facing across the country. Today, we addressed separate reports at two schools involving students bringing firearms to campus. While we are fortunate nobody was hurt, incidents like this must stop. Children are accessing weapons, bringing them into our school buildings, and jeopardizing the safety of students and staff members.
These students will be facing the highest levels of disciplinary action including expulsion. We strive for our schools to be positive places for teaching and learning, and students who create unsafe environments are not welcome in our school buildings.
Parents and families, we are continuing to ask for your partnership in promoting a safe environment. First and foremost, please ensure children are not able to access any items that may present risks to their safety and wellbeing. Check your child’s backpack to ensure they are not bringing any dangerous items to school. If your child witnesses any suspicious activity or believes someone may present a potential safety risk, please “see something, say something” by ensuring they inform a teacher or staff member immediately. You may also make a report on the Anonymous Alerts link found in the main icons of your school website.
From the district perspective, we will be rolling out a weapon detection system across our schools. This is a proactive safety measure we have been working on, and we have been testing these systems at select schools and events. Anyone entering a HCS campus may be subject to weapon detection. While we do not wish to discuss the specifics of how this process will work to avoid compromising security measures, please know this is an effort we are approaching very carefully and deliberately to promote student safety.
These weapon detection systems will complement our existing security measures. We are grateful for the support of the Huntsville Police Department and school resource officers (SROs) across the district. We also thank the HCS Security team, which is the largest in North Alabama. We appreciate our teachers, counselors, support staff, and administrators for supporting the safety of our students.
Finally, as a parent of a child in our school system, I understand the sentiments surrounding school safety both locally and nationally. This is a matter that requires urgent attention, partnership with parents, and community engagement as we all do what is best for children. Thank you for your support on this ongoing effort.
Huntsville City schools superintendent, Christie Finely says, we need your help. " Today, we had two separate incidences at our schools involving students who were discovered with firearms on campus."
The weapons were confiscated, and the students were promptly removed from campus. " Whether it's the two incidents today, McDonald Elementary school in October or Sonny Hereford, nearly a year ago, our message is clear, and it is simple. This is unacceptable. It has to stop, and parents we need your help, she explained."
Superintendent Finley says their job in schools is to educate the children, and they should not have to look over their shoulder or worry about their safety,
"...and parents we also want you to know that we've actually been working on a plan to enhance school safety," she said.
Furthermore, in the coming days, they will be rolling out their weapons detection systems across the district.
"We do want everyone to know that if you're entering a Huntsville City schools campus, you will be subject to weapons detection," Superintendent Finley said.
"In fact, you may have already been through some of our weapons detection systems as we've had them at the Huntsville Classic and recently at the Lee Jemison game last night."
The weapons detection systems will be complementing the school's existing security measures.
Huntsville City school board of education, Vice President, Michelle Watkins said, she's pleading with students to put the guns down.
"We still have mothers grieving from losing their child to gun violence. there's absolutely nothing that cannot be resolved through conflict resolution, Watkins stressed."
Superintendent Finley said, it's very important that students know if you see something, say something to a trusted adult.
"We need the parents to help. We need guardians to help. Have that dialog with your child. It needs to start young."