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Metro Atlanta students beginning the school year with handguns

A handgun found on an APS school campus makes for the second gun found on campus and in less than two weeks back in school.
A handgun found on an APS school campus makes for the second gun found on campus and in less than two weeks back in school.
Atlanta Public Schools

This discovery of a handgun at Northwest Atlanta’s Frederick Douglass High School, caused the APS school to be placed on lockdown Wednesday afternoon. Its the second gun in less than two weeks brought to school by a Metro Atlanta student.

Authorities kept Douglass High on lockdown from 11:30 a.m. until about 3 p.m. That's when the hidden 380 caliber gun was finally located. According WSB-TV a student told a teacher that another student brought the gun into the school. No injuries were reported, but three students were taken into police custody Wednesday afternoon. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, they were charged with possession of a firearm on school property, possession of a firearm under 18 years old, and disrupting public schools. They were taken to the Fulton County Youth Detention Center.

The school remained on lockdown as a precautionary measure while APS Safety and Security Department, the Atlanta Police Department and other law enforcement agencies search the building and campus for the handgun. Authorities say it also took time to find out who all was involved in the incident.

Concerned parents trying to pick up their children wanted to know how a gun could have gotten past school metal detectors. According to reports the school’s metal detectors were not all working properly Wednesday morning. Parents say before they will feel comfortable about Douglass High being safe, they must know that school security measures will improve, and that all metal detectors will be working.

As tighter security measures have been the goal for Metro Atlanta school districts this year, somehow students are not only violating school rules, but managing to get past security with weapons.

Just last week, for the first day of school in Douglas County, a student brought a loaded handgun to the campus. Lithia Springs High School student Joshua Colson brought the weapon to the campus August 6. According to Fox 5 Atlanta, it was an anonymous student tip given to school resources officers that lead to that weapon recovery. The incident happened around noon, but in this case there was no school lockdown involved.

However, in both cases it was the actions of students speaking up that alerted administrators and authorities to these serious weapons’ violations.

And while there has been no clear reason given for why the students decided to bring the handguns to school, it is clear that there are some brave students willing to do the right thing and tell.

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