CLEVELAND – The shooting inside Jackson Middle School and the massacre inside a school in Florida in recent days have led the FOX 8 I TEAM to investigate how many local students actually get caught with guns.
Cleveland Schools say 6 so far this academic year. The district says two students were found with guns last year. 4 the year before.
Akron Schools say they’ve found 2 guns in those three years. But one of them this month. Both guns were loaded, and one was found with a kid in a library.
Elyria Schools say, over that same time, they’ve caught students with 3 air guns. Plus, 6 other students had toy/plastic guns, one had a cap gun, and one had a water gun.
Lorain Schools say they’ve had no guns found dating back to 2015-16.
Cleveland Schools say the student gun cases in that district could involve a gun found inside the school. Or, maybe caught at the metal detector. Or, perhaps found in the bushes outside, or even in the backpack of a kid walking to school. But the district says the I TEAM would have to file a records request for each incident to find out more.
Every student at every Cleveland school goes through a metal detector. Akron Schools do random checks with metal detectors. Yet somehow, a few guns have gotten through. No reprise to nationally known school safety consultant Ken Trump.
He said, “So, it’s impractical to think you’re going to have an airtight situation like you have at the airport.”
Trump runs National School Safety and Security Services in Cleveland. He points out, kids can sneak weapons in by opening side doors or coming in after-hours. It takes more than one tactic to make a school safe. He added, “The security’s often best unseen by having relationships with kids where they come forward, training staff, recognizing early warning signs, dealing with mental health.”
Overall, not that many guns found are in local schools. But it’s enough to alarm parents we met. One said, “More than we know. I think it’s more than we know.” Another added, “I don’t know what’s going on with these children nowadays.”
A closer look at the Akron cases shows a gun was found Feb. 8 at Buchtel CLC. The only other was at Ellet High School Feb. 25, 2016.
The Cleveland cases show students with guns this academic year at these schools: Washington Park-Environmental, School of One at John Adams, PACT (JFK) 9th Grade, New Tech at Collinwood, and Harvey Rice.