HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Huntsville Police say two students were taken into custody from separate schools on Wednesday after bringing firearms onto campus.
Officials said one student is facing “disciplinary action” after they allegedly brought a gun to the Lee High / New Century Technology School campus. The weapon was found without incident and that student was immediately removed from campus.
Huntsville City Schools said the unnamed student will face disciplinary action according to the district’s Behavioral Learning Guide (BLG). Police say they will not have any involvement with searches or the disciplinary process.
In a separate incident, Dr. Demetris Harris-Leverette, Principal of Mae C. Jemison High School said a student was removed from their campus after “being discovered in possession of a firearm.”
That student will also be disciplined according to the district’s BLG.
“We ask families to speak with their student about “see something, say something” to report any suspicious activity to a teacher or administrator,” Harris-Leverette said. “Additionally, we remind everyone of our Anonymous Alerts platform to make us aware any concerns. Thank you to the HCS Security Team and the Huntsville Police Department for their support.”
School officials are asking parents and guardians to make sure students aren’t able to access weapons or items that compromise the safety and well-being of themselves and other students and staff.
On Wednesday night, HCS Superintendent Christie Finley released a statement on the issue:
This evening, I am continuing to ask for your help in addressing an issue we are facing in Huntsville and school districts are facing across the country. Today, we addressed separate reports at two schools involving students bringing firearms to campus. While we are fortunate nobody was hurt, incidents like this must stop. Children are accessing weapons, bringing them into our school buildings, and jeopardizing the safety of students and staff members.
These students will be facing the highest levels of disciplinary action including expulsion. We strive for our schools to be positive places for teaching and learning, and students who create unsafe environments are not welcome in our school buildings.
Parents and families, we are continuing to ask for your partnership in promoting a safe environment. First and foremost, please ensure children are not able to access any items that may present risks to their safety and wellbeing. Check your child’s backpack to ensure they are not bringing any dangerous items to school. If your child witnesses any suspicious activity or believes someone may present a potential safety risk, please “see something, say something” by ensuring they inform a teacher or staff member immediately. You may also make a report on the Anonymous Alerts link found in the main icons of your school website.
From the district perspective, we will be rolling out a weapon detection system across our schools. This is a proactive safety measure we have been working on, and we have been testing these systems at select schools and events. Anyone entering a HCS campus may be subject to weapon detection. While we do not wish to discuss the specifics of how this process will work to avoid compromising security measures, please know this is an effort we are approaching very carefully and deliberately to promote student safety.
These weapon detection systems will complement our existing security measures. We are grateful for the support of the Huntsville Police Department and school resource officers (SROs) across the district. We also thank the HCS Security team, which is the largest in North Alabama. We appreciate our teachers, counselors, support staff, and administrators for supporting the safety of our students.
Finally, as a parent of a child in our school system, I understand the sentiments surrounding school safety both locally and nationally. This is a matter that requires urgent attention, partnership with parents, and community engagement as we all do what is best for children. Thank you for your support on this ongoing effort.HCS Superintendent Christie Finley