LINCOLN COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - ?
There have been several instances of students bringing guns to school in Richmond County, and the Board of Education said they need parents' help to prevent any more incidents.
Chief Alfonzo Williams is the head of school Safety and Security for Richmond County, and said since the start of the 2014 school year, there have been six incidents where students have brought a gun to school, and two of them happened just last week.
Williams said while there is no malicious intent when the students bring the guns to school, it's a problem the department is working on fixing.
"While we are concerned that students are bringing them to school, there's some consolation in that they're not being used neither offensively nor defensively," he said.
Last week, two students brought pellet guns to school on separate occasions, but Williams says most of the incidents are not because the students want to inflict violence.
"Most of these incidences involve elementary school kids who are bringing them for show and tell, because they're interested," Williams said. "They don't have any malice, they're not being picked on, they're not being bullied, they're not bullying others with them."
Williams said the school system conducts random weapon and drug checks at schools with the help of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, and they also go in on a weekly basis to talk to students about weapons violence and safety. But he says parents need to step up, and talk to their children.
"Children should understand the seriousness of having those type weapons. They need to understand the conditions under which they can use those weapons. They certainly cannot, and should not bring them to school," said Williams.
He also said parents should be locking up their weapons, and checking their child's backpack before they go to school to make sure they aren't sneaking the weapon with them. Williams said it truly is a community effort when it comes to keeping schools safe, and he needs everyone to step up and do their part.
"We think that we will be safe by having a more vigilant student, staff and faculty. And with well informed parents, who will be vigilant, equally as vigilant as our student, staff and faculty, if we do that, we'll be okay," Williams said.
Richmond County Board of Education Safety officials are designing a flyer to send home with elementary and middle school students to give to their parents with gun safety tips. Chief Williams also said there is a community forum planned for some time at the end of this month where parents will have the chance to meet with school safety officials about their concerns with weapons being brought to school.