Loaded gun found at Richland Northeast High School, student charged

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) — A student at Richland Northeast High School has been charged after officials found a loaded gun in his backpack.

The school resource officer was alerted via social media that a 15-year-old student had a gun. When the ORS approached the student, he admitted to having the loaded gun, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

The teenager is charged with unlawful possession, possession of a firearm on school property and possession of a pistol under the age of 18.

There is no evidence that anyone was shown or threatened with the weapon, according to deputies.

The teenager will be booked into the juvenile wing of the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

The Richland School District 2 spokesperson forwarded WIS the email Principal Mark Sims sent to school employees and parents. It reads:

I am writing to inform you that this morning a school resource officer confiscated a weapon from a student. The school resource officer saw a social media post made by the student showing the weapon. The ORS located the student and confiscated the item. So far in the investigation, we have no evidence that the student has threatened to harm anyone at school. School administrators and our SROs followed district procedures and board policy in the administration of disciplinary and legal consequences. Students should never bring weapons onto school property and they face serious consequences for doing so. In accordance with state and federal law, Richland Two’s Board of Trustees’ JICI policy states that a student who brings a weapon to school faces expulsion for at least one year. As a reminder to parents, this week the Richland Two Office of Emergency and Security Services is conducting district metal detector tests at three randomly selected high schools. One of them took place in a high school this morning. Another will take place in a high school Wednesday morning and another high school Thursday morning. Although screenings are not announced, school administrators and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department will be notified in advance and will assist with the testing process.

The tests will be conducted using an Open Gate metal detector and will provide important data as district leaders consider potential new security features to be implemented for the 2022-2023 school year. As I said earlier this year, it is absolutely essential that our communities help prevent students from having access to guns. We must all work together to make Richland Northeast High a safe place for all of our students, staff and visitors.

If you have questions or concerns about school safety, please contact a school administrator.

The school board is reviewing security procedures following the discovery of several firearms on campuses in the district.

The weapon seized in Richland Northeast marks at least the fourth since late April.

Richland County resident Roger Davis lives across the street from the school and said his grandson will be attending in the fall.

He said he had questions about how the incidents keep happening.

“Who provides the weapons? Because it takes money to buy a gun no matter where you get it from. It takes money for a gun and why this kid has that gun in his hands for whatever reason needs to be understood by the entire adult system, not just the school system,” he said. .

He said the district and parents should be held accountable.

Sheriff Leon Lott explained how frequently firearms are stolen from cars.

WIS contacted RCSD for data on the number of firearms seized on school campuses.

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Martha K. Merrill