AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – The discovery of a student with a gun inside a local school is leading to changes in the district’s security policy.
Akron Public Schools notified parents that a seventh grader was found with a gun inside his fanny pack at Litchfield Community Learning Center Monday afternoon.
The district says adults in the school were alerted by other concerned students.
“Administrators, APS security and school resource officers responded immediately, and within minutes, the student was in the custody of police and now faces serious charges for possession of a gun,” Superintendent Christine Fowler Mack said in a written statement to parents.
“Akron Public Schools takes safety seriously; we are working to upgrade, install and expand our safety equipment and related personnel. Soon we want to be at the point where new, high-tech metal detection equipment is in place every day,” she said in the statement.
The district already has metal detectors in all its middle and high schools. Two new school resource officers were recently hired to be able to have officers in every middle and high school.
In addition, the district employs 63 safety personnel who work in those schools.
In response to Monday’s incident, the superintendent told parents she is 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.
The Akron Board of Education issued the following statement:
The safety and security of our students and staff members are a high priority and we recognize that there is more we must and can all do together.
The board shares the concerns of our community regarding recent incidents and are committed to incorporating an open and transparent process of identifying institutional and community-based solutions. A multi-pronged approach is necessary to realize more immediate and long term solutions and positive outcomes.
We remain open to hearing any suggestions and solutions. We invite you to share those with us as we move forward, together, in executing them, in partnership to build a stronger school community in our city.
No one was hurt in Monday’s incident.
The superintendent on Tuesday declined an opportunity to discuss the district’s security policies with FOX 8 News.
“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,” she said in the statement to parents.