Fayette County Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk said Tuesday he won’t tolerate weapons on school campuses and that he is implementing a five-pronged approach to ensure safety.
After students brought two loaded guns and one unloaded gun to Tates Creek High School over the course of 12 days this month, Caulk said on Monday that he would implement random metal detector checks at all high schools after Nov. 21.
Caulk told parents in an email message Tuesday that his plan involves students, families, staff, law enforcement and community. The students involved in the recent gun incidents, which officials said were not connected, told police they had the weapons because of situations outside of school.
First, Caulk said students need to commit to alerting adults when they become aware of a safety concern on campus.
Also, “we ask our families to support us at home by being active in the lives of their students — ensuring that they don’t have access to contraband, regularly checking jackets, backpacks and pockets, and encouraging them to be involved with friends and activities that support a healthy lifestyle,” Caulk said.
He said some schools, including Tates Creek High, already have tip lines, and the district will expand this anonymous reporting tool to more schools.
Caulk said the district already has some metal detector equipment and will be making additional purchases. He has instructed high school directors, director of law enforcement and general counsel to develop a plan for implementation for the random checks.
Caulk said the district needs to build a network of support for “families and children” to strengthen families before a problem in the community manifests itself at school. He said he will be reaching out to community agencies to work with families and children.
Meanwhile, Bryan Station Middle School interim principal Cecil Combs said a student brought a BB gun to school on Tuesday. Combs said appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
“This situation provides the perfect opportunity for us to reinforce with our children that even toy BB guns are not allowed at school,” Combs said in an e-mail message to parents. “We’re proud of those individuals who did the right thing by alerting adults to the situation.”
Ten weapons were found in Fayette County Schools in 2015-16, according to the district’s school report card on the Kentucky Department of Education website. The district report card did not identify the weapons. One weapon each was found at Tates Creek, Bryan Station and Lafayette high schools in 2015-16, according to the school report cards.
“School safety is everyone’s business,” Caulk said in his Tuesday message to parents. “We must be willing to face challenges head on and come together to find solutions in order to keep our students safe. I share your concern and frustration and assure you that we will take all steps necessary to safeguard our campuses.”