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‘Yesterday terrified me:’ Garinger High School parents request stronger safety measures, urge students to consider consequences of school violence

CMS says eight guns have been confiscated from campuses since the start of the school year
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students are coming up on their second full month back in the classroom and since then police have responded to multiple fights, and several weapons were found on campus.

In the first three days of school Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department responded to multiple fights on campus and several weapons were found including a knife, BB gun, and other guns.

Myers Park High School officials sent a letter to parents Wednesday September 15, after a student was accused of having a gun on the school bus and at school.

The letter said school officials received information after dismissal that a student had a weapon on a bus. Law enforcement was notified and police went to the student’s home.

During a search, authorities found a weapon and ammunition in the student’s backpack and were informed those items had been on the bus and at the school, Myers Park High officials said in the letter.

CMPD says the 17-year-old juvenile was charged with felony possession of a weapon on school property.

On Tuesday, October 5, a minor was arrested for his involvement in a shooting Tuesday morning, forcing a lockdown at Garinger High School in east Charlotte.

“Where is my child why has he not called me? It was just the fear of it all because you just never know,” said Garinger High School parent Erin McAtree. McAtree’s son is a freshman at the school.

Police arrived and learned at least one suspect involved in the shooting ran toward Garinger High School so the school was placed on lockdown while officers provided security to the school and searched for any suspects, authorities said.

Police searched the gym and found a gun and two loaded magazines.

“Just put the guns down, put the weapons down,” said Garinger High School Parent Billy Stallings. Stallings has two children that go to Garinger.

As of October 6, CMS says eight guns have been confiscated from school campuses this year.

“When I went to school we had metal detectors now that still probably won’t prevent everything but that will be a good step to take to prevent something like this from happening,” Stallins said.

CMS does random safety screenings inside of school buildings which includes no-touch wands, metal detectors, and canine teams if needed.

As of September 9, four high schools participated in random safety screenings. The schools are Independence High School, West Charlotte High School, West Mecklenburg High School, and Hopewell High School.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police also provide school resource officers to every middle and high school where they provide overall security for each school, security for school-related events, and mentoring for students.

McAtree says she talks with her children daily about the dangers of bringing weapons to school.

“It is a reality. Kids are being tried as adults these days and I don’t want to see that for my children,” McAtree said.

She hopes other students take safety seriously before they hurt themselves or someone else.

“If you make this choice, there are consequences for your actions,” McAtree.

WBTV reached out to CMS and CMPD to see the total number of weapons that have been confiscated from campus since the first day of school. Our data request has not been fulfilled as of the time of this writing.

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