Tuscaloosa officials address students bringing guns to school

Tuscaloosa officials address students bringing guns to school
(Source: WBRC Video)

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa City Schools and police are working together to make changes to their school safety plan after two students brought guns to school in the last couple of weeks.

Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson said they are trying to find out how a 12-year-old girl got a hold of a gun that ended up at Westlawn Middle School.

He, along with Superintendent Dr. Michael Daria, stress that parents should be just as involved in the fight to keep our students safe at school.

"We need parents to start sitting down with kids and have a frank conversation with them about what's going on around the country," said Chief Anderson.

"Let's work together to research anything that is of concern, so we can prevent anything from happening," Dr. Daria said.

And after two close calls, at Central High and Westlawn Middle School, the school system is trying to figure out why students are bringing these guns to school.

In both situations Tuscaloosa police say the students brought the weapons because they felt bullied.

Tuscaloosa's superintendent is reinforcing families that they need to trust his staff to deal with bullying and not take matters into their own hands.

"Every student in our school system deserves to feel safe at school and if that's not happening we need to know," Daria said.

Police said the 12-year-old girl who took a gun to school told a teacher when it went missing and they found it in a 14-year-old boy's backpack.

But aren't there metal detectors in some of the schools that aren't used all the time?

"That's correct, they are not used all the time," said Dr. Daria.

That's something officials said they're currently looking at.

"Definitely refine the security measures in place to make sure that we can kind of cut down on incidents such as this one," said Chief Anderson.

As for the incident with a 12-year-old bringing a gun to school, Chief Anderson said more charges could come about if the gun belonged to adults responsible for the girl.

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