AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — Akron Public Schools has released a statement after a 17-year-old student was arrested Friday evening after police say he brought a gun to Firestone Community Learning Center.
“Our #1 Priority at APS: Children and adults thrive in schools where they feel safe, supported and protected from situations that pose a threat of harm or disruption to their learning and teaching environment. The APS school community is responding aggressively to a surge in serious safety incidents in schools, as evidenced by the vital measures included in this safety update. All are part of a city-wide effort to ensure safe learning environments in every APS school,” the statement said.
The statement continued on to say APS will increase its safety team staffing to 50 full-time and 13 part-time officers, as well as conduct routine audits of school facilities to ensure safety protocols are being followed, cameras are functioning, doors are properly locked and safety team members are clearly visible.
APS said behavioral health specialists will be assigned at schools to provide guidance and support to students. Also, additional door alarms and fixed-position metal detectors will be installed, the statement said.
For the full APS statement, click here.
According to Akron police, the high school senior was reportedly planning on attending a basketball game at the school that night, where Firestone was taking on Buchtel CLC.
Prior to the game, around 5:30 p.m., the student asked to go pick up something from his locker. After retrieving a coat, a school administrator who had accompanied him noticed the teen was carrying it in a suspicious way, police said.
The school employee asked for the coat and found a gun in a pocket, police said. The student was detained until police arrived on the scene and the gun was turned over to them.
The teen was then taken to Summit County Juvenile Detention Facility and has been charged with illegal conveyance and carrying a weapon that was concealed.
No one was injured in the incident and an investigation is ongoing.
Less than a week ago, a seventh-grader was caught carrying a gun in a fanny pack at school that prompted the lockdown of two Akron middle schools.
In response, Akron Public Schools Supt. Christine Fowler Mack said in a statement to parents and caregivers she’s ordered staff to make metal detectors and backpack checks routine in the district’s middle grades and high schools.