LISD grapples with weapons on campus

LISD grapples with weapons on campus

Guns, knife found on campuses in unrelated incidents

By Kathi Bliss

Editor/POST-REGISTER

 

For the third time in less than a week, Lockhart ISD administrators and local law enforcement responded to and LISD campus for a report of a weapon on campus.

The first incident, on Jan. 30, occurred, when a student made a report that a classmate at Bluebonnet Elementary had brought a pocket knife to school, and was showing it to classmates.

“While the majority of students do not know about the pocket knife being found at school today, you may want to take a moment to remind your children that pocket knives and other weapons are not allowed at school,” Bluebonnet Principal Glenn Shanks said in a written statement to parents that day. “Also, please share with your children how important it is to ask a teacher or another adult for help if they hear or see something that seems dangerous. The student who came forward today made a courageous decision that helped keep everyone safe.”

Days later, on Feb. 3, a student brought an “Air-Soft” pistol in his backpack to Alma Brewer Strawn Elementary. In that case, an investigation revealed, the student was unaware that the gun was in his backpack, having been hidden there by a sibling.

Then, on Monday, the Lockhart Police were notified that a loaded pistol was visible in a student’s car at Lockhart High School. The student claimed that he had used the pistol for hunting over the weekend, and had forgotten to take it out of his car prior to the start of the school day.

“My husband is a hunter, and we have guns in our home,” LISD Superintendent Susan K. Bohn said in a written statement this week. “For some of us, having weapons in our homes for recreation, protection, and even our jobs, is a way of life.  With that comes a responsibility to take gun safety very seriously, especially with children in the house. We cannot forget that items such as pocket knives, BB guns, and airsoft guns are not toys. They should not be readily accessible to children in our homes.”

Under the Texas Penal Code, being in possession of a weapon on a school campus, including pocket knives in some instances, can be charged up to a

Third Degree Felony, which could be punishable by five years or more in prison.

“If your child uses firearms for farming, ranching, hunting, or other recreational purposes, please be sure their weapons are properly put away and not stowed in the student’s vehicle or brought to school,” Lockhart High School principal Deanna Juarez said in a written statement. “If a student possesses a firearm, even unintentionally, on district property or at a school event, the consequences can be very serious, given state and federal laws. Please help your children understand this.”

Lockhart ISD administration remains committed to the safety of Lockhart’s students and campuses, and has repeatedly praised the students who came forward to make reports of these prohibited weapons on their campuses. Additionally, they have taken steps through electronic and social media to ensure that parents are aware of these goings-on, in hopes that parents will help to educate and patrol local children about the potential dangers and consequences of bringing these prohibited items to school.

Parents with concerns about these recent events are invited to contact their child’s school administrators, or Lockhart ISD Central Office.

kathibliss@post-register.com

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