New details released after loaded gun, knife found at White Knoll High School
LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) - Officials have released new details after two teens were arrested at White Knoll High School in Lexington County.
The school was on lockdown Monday afternoon after the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call of a student potentially having a gun on campus.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 16-year-old male student after he allegedly brought a loaded gun on school property. Deputies also arrested a 15-year-old female student for possession of a knife, according to Lexington County Sheriff’s Department officials.
Department spokesperson Sarah Summerall told WIS the boy was arrested for the following charges: possession of a weapon on school grounds, communicating a school threat, and possession of a weapon by a person unlawful.
The girl is only facing the possession of a weapon on school grounds charge.
Summerall said the Department of Juvenile Justice is holding the boy while the department released the girl to a family member.
Both students are accused of bringing the weapons in their backpacks. At this time, deputies do not know why the students brought the weapons inside the school.
Deputies say they are not recommending a security policy change in the district.
“This is a case of the system working. Because students spoke up about what they heard, we worked together to make sure everyone remained safe.”
The White Knoll incident is the latest in a series of situations where guns have made it onto school campuses in the Midlands. In October, a loaded gun was found at nearby Carolina Springs Middle School, also in Lexington 1.
The district sent WIS this list of weapons found since the school year began, these include the White Knoll gun and knife.
The following weapons were found:
- 12 knives (including pocket knives, box-cutters, and multi-tools)
- 2 guns
- 1 airsoft gun
- 1 pepper spray
- 1 bat with nails in it
The sequence of events at White Knoll High School raised many questions for students and parents.
“I texted my mom and my dad just to say I love you guys in case something happened,” the student said.
According to family members of students and faculty, a text message was sent out by White Knoll representatives regarding the lockdown, and details were unknown as people waited for updates Monday afternoon.
White Knoll High School Principal, Ted Daughtry released a message Monday evening to the families of students regarding the incident which took place earlier that afternoon.
It’s unclear if the Lexington 1 School Board will implement any security policy changes in response to the incident.
Board Chair Anne Marie Green said the incident brought her fear, but spoke in support of the existing safety system.
“Although that incident was scary and the last thing you want to hear is it’s happening in our schools. It was handled and it’s not an emergency situation for us to react immediately as far as policy,” she said.
She said the district will need to gather more information and hear any recommendations from the administration before determining any actions.
Board member Dr. R Kyle Guyton also spoke in support of fact-finding on school culture. “To me there’s probably no greater defense than your culture and if your culture doesn’t allow that type of behavior or what may happen, that’s the greatest line of defense you can have,” he said.
Board member Jada Garris said the board needs to be more proactive on the issue of weapons.
“There’s only a matter of time before there will be a school shooting and if we just continue to praise the positive and ignore the negative and really dig down deep, well what’s going on here? Why are the students bringing weapons on campus?” she said.
She said the board has “to deal with the problem” and said she plans to ask for a meeting to address the issue.
The next scheduled meeting is on Dec. 14.
District Superintendent Dr. Greg Little was not available Tuesday, but spokesperson Kathryn McPhail sent this statement:
The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department covers parts of Lexington 1, Lexington-Richland 5, and all of Lexington 4. It sent WIS this tally for weapons found in its jurisdiction so far:
There have been 22 incident reports for weapons being brought to schools in LCSD’s jurisdiction since the beginning of this school year.
The type of weapons and how many are listed below:
- 2 Handguns – Smith & Wesson 9mm Handgun and .380 Ruger LCP Handgun
- 4 BB Guns
- 13 Knives
- 2 Pepper Sprays
- 1 Stun Gun
- 1 Box Cutter
- 1 Medieval Mace
- 1 Metal Scissors
- 1 Ninja Star
*Please note, these numbers do not include stats from schools that are inside municipalities in our county.
The department sent a statement:
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