AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — A seventh-grader who was reportedly carrying a gun in a fanny pack at school caused two Akron school buildings to be locked down Monday afternoon.
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.
“…Each of us owes a debt of gratitude to the students and administrators whose quick actions ensured a student with a weapon in his possession posed no harm to students or staff today. Please remind your students to do as our students did today: “if you see something … say something,” she said.
Students who heard rumors that a student was carrying a gun reported it to teachers shortly before 2 p.m. Monday, according to the district.
Litchfield and Firestone community learning centers — the middle and high schools — were locked down from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The district’s security officers, staff and the school’s resource officer located the seventh-grade student within nine minutes, and found the gun in his fanny pack, according to a release.
Mack said in her statement to parents the student was in the custody of police and faces serious charges.
She went on to say:
“This is absolutely unacceptable and reinforces our shared concern and focused attention to safety, security, and accountability in our schools…
We are certainly impatient to complete security audits and upgrades and to make it easier to keep weapons out of our schools. Anxiety increases with each incident. So does our resolve to do everything we can to ensure our schools are safe.
In addition to the hardware, we continue to expand our preventative measures programs, practices, and mental health support services and are committed to regularly updating staff, families, and the community on those steps.
At this time, I am issuing an order for staff to modify the current practice of random use of metal detectors and backpack checks to routine use in middle grades and high schools. A safety audit currently underway includes a review of the needs of our elementary schools.”