Number of guns found on Metro campuses up over last 2 years - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Number of guns found on Metro campuses up over last 2 years

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

When a Stratford High School student was arrested Thursday after a loaded gun was found on campus, it was the 11th gun found at a Metro school so far this school year.

At this point last year, the number of guns found at schools was six, and the year before it was seven.

While the number of weapons found is up, district leaders say overall their security strategy is working.

"When you have children under 16 or 17 years of age able to access a weapon, the availability of weapons for juveniles is just too easy. Just too convenient," said Tony Majors, Metro assistant superintendent of student services.

Majors said the district's current security plan is effective and says security upgrades are happening, which parents and students can see.

"You'll notice the upgrade to the security systems. You will notice more adults asking you questions about your purpose of being on school grounds. You'll see improved procedure, documenting who's entering their building," Majors said. "I'm not going to tell you that we're going to put stationary metal detectors in every school. That is not on Metro schools' radar right now."

Despite more guns found in schools, the district said gang involvement in Metro schools is down. Two years ago, more than 130 students got in trouble for gang-related activity. That number dropped last year, and the district is on track to see its average number nearly cut in half this year.

"I think that can be attributed to administrators and teachers recognizing the early signs of gang activity - having the conversation with the student, but also having the conversation with the parent," Majors said.

New data also shows suspensions, expulsions and the number of students sent to alternative school trending down.

School leaders say it has a lot to do with administrators better utilizing in-house disciplinary practice and better communicating with parents.

Drug offenses remain high in Metro schools, but the number of truancy cases has been cut in half compared to the last two years. School leaders say that drop can be attributed to aggressive work between support teams, including social workers, administrators and police.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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