Parents concerned after school not put on lock-down following gun incident

Local News

Some parents are concerned that Blackman Middle School was not put on lock-down yesterday when a gun and bullets were found in a student’s backpack.

Parents are worried if this student can bring on gun on campus, what’s stopping others from doing the same.

Caren Calden is a mom on a mission.

“We can’t say after the fact we could have done this, well we should have done that, that has to start today or these gun will continue to show up,” Calden said.

She kept her son home Friday, concerned that a gun was found at Blackman Middle School the day before.

“What they did and how they did and how they handled themselves, I’m not going to criticize the Sheriff’s Department, or the school or the faculty what they did kudos, great job, but they didn’t take it the next step,” she said. “They dropped the ball when they did not put that school on lockdown, they dropped the ball when they did not search the rest of the backpacks.”

Calden said with all the school shootings lately, she’s afraid of what could have happened.

“I remember Columbine, it happened on my wedding anniversary, I will never forget that day watching that unfold on TV,” Calden said. “This is an epidemic, it’s not just once a month, once a year, once in a while; this is happening all the time.”

The concerned mother said gun debate aside this is a matter of safety.

“My heart was in my throat I had to think clearly, I had to act quickly, but I couldn’t get there fast enough. I thought what if there is another gun in another kid’s backpack.”

Her son Noah Jones had no idea there was even a gun on campus until his mom showed up.

“I didn’t know if I was being dismissed because of a doctor’s appoint or if I was going to Disneyland I didn’t know what was happening,” Jones said.

When she told him the 6th grade honor student, and band member, went into panic mode.

“I could have been killed today, I could have been shot, my friend’s could have been shot,” Jones said. “Every time I knew could have been gone.”

School officials told News 2 after receiving a tip the student was located during class change and isolated until the other students made it to class.

They found a hand gun with ammunition in his locker.

School officials said the student claims he found the gun and was hiding it from his parents.

“There was no actual threat or hit list,” schools spokesman James Evans told News 2 by phone.

“The threat was him coming onto campus with a gun in his backpack along with bullets,” Calden said.

School Resource Officer Supervisor Captain Brad Harrison told News 2 there was no need for a lockdown, they say they were able to identify the student and get to him before anything happened.

“In this case the threat was identified and isolated within 30 seconds so there was no need for a lockdown,” Harrison said.

School officials tell us it’s left up to the discretion of the SROs and the school principal to decide if a lockdown is warranted or not.

“We were lucky to have an SRO in our school and SROs in our school system that could react quickly that have built that repor with students that could identify the student that quickly and take care of the situation rather than calling the police to come in and counting on faculty in a dangerous situation like that,” Harrison said.

Calden said it time to seriously think about putting metal detectors in schools.

“Our courthouses have metal detectors,” Calden said. “You can not walk in a see a judge or have your case heard, you can’t walk into an airport without going through medical detectors and security, why do we not have them for our children.”

Calden met with the principal and SRO to try and get answers as to why the school was not placed on lock down.

“They both told me that I needed to speak with the County Commissioner in order to have them install metal detectors in the schools,” Calden said. “I just got off the phone with our County Commissioner Trey Gooch, and he told me that they need to ask for it in the budget.”

Calden said the principal told her if they could have metal detectors, they would gladly use them.

“I spoke with the District Safety Director Josh Kubly and he said the schools had until the end of today to send in their budget requests for increased safety at the schools,” Calden said. “Seems like an issue of a dog chasing his tail.”

The 8th grade student was arrested and kicked out of school.

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