Loaded gun found at Richland Northeast High School, student charged

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Published: May. 31, 2022 at 11:34 AM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2022 at 11:35 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Richland Northeast High School student has been charged after officials found a loaded gun in his backpack.

The School Resource Officer was alerted through social media that a 15-year-old male student had a gun. When the SRO approached the student, he admitted to having the loaded pistol, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

The teen is charged with unlawful carry, possession of a firearm on school grounds and possession of a pistol under 18.

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

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

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

I am writing to let you know 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 SRO located the student and confiscated the item. So far in the investigation, we do not have any evidence to indicate that the student threatened to harm anyone at school. School administrators and our SROs followed district procedures and board policy in administering disciplinary and legal consequences. Students should never bring weapons onto school grounds and they face serious consequences when they do. In accordance with state and federal law, Richland Two Board Policy JICI states that a student who brings a weapon to school faces expulsion of no less than one year. Parents as a reminder, this week the Richland Two Office of Emergency and Security Services is conducting tests of the district’s metal detector at three randomly selected high schools. One was held at a high school this morning. Another will be held at a high school on Wednesday morning and another high school on Thursday morning. While the screenings will be unannounced, school administrators and Richland County Sheriff’s Department will be notified in advance and will assist in the testing process.

The tests will be conducted using an Open Gate metal detector and will provide important data as district leaders examine potential new safety and security features to implement for 2022-2023 school year. As I have said previously this year, it is absolutely critical that our communities help prevent students from gaining access to weapons. We must all work together to keep Richland Northeast High a safe place for all of our students, employees and visitors.

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

The school board is in the process of reviewing safety procedures in the aftermath of several guns being found on district campuses.

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

Richland County resident Roger Davis lives across the road 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’s providing the guns? Because it takes money to buy a gun, I don’t care where you’re getting it from. It takes a money from a gun and why that child has that gun in his hands for whatever reason, needs to be understood by the whole adult system, not just the school system,” he said.

He said the district and parents should be held accountable.

Sheriff Leon Lott has been vocal on how guns are frequently stolen from cars.

WIS has reached out to RCSD for data on how many guns have been seized on school campuses.

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