The Richmond County School System discussed safety concerns following the shooting at W.S. Hornsby K-8 School.
Superintendent Dr. Pringle said she’s confident that all school staff is properly trained to deal with these situations, and is reminding parents to remain vigilant with their children. At the press conference she assured everyone that each child who shows up to school in Richmond County tomorrow is showing up in a safe environment.
Many are breathing a sigh of relief that all the W.S. Hornsby School students are safe at home, especially the third grade girl who was involved in the shooting.
“The victim said to me, Ms. Pringle, I’d like to go to school tomorrow, can you bring my book bag, so as soon as we leave here, I’m on the way to get a book bag and a couple pairs of shoes, and take some ice cream over, and be okay with trying to help her get back to school,” said Pringle.
While school leaders are praising the work of staff and officers, there are questions about how a third grader was behind—what could have been a worse situation.
“This was an isolated incident and all parents must ensure if you have weapons in your house, you must ensure they are secured and where the child can’t access any type of weapons,” said Ted Brown, an Assistant Chief for the Richmond County Board of Education’s Public Safety Department.
The board of education is handling the investigation into why the elementary student had a .380 caliber semi-automatic in his desk, and working with the sheriff’s office to find ways to prevent these types of events.
“We examine policy, we look at and see if we can do things better, and in this incident, it was fortunate that it was a minor injury, and we will review any other policy with the sheriff’s office and bringing other resources to bear that the board of education feels may assure parents for their safety,” said Sheriff Richard Roundtree.
The board of education sent out a robocall to parents as soon as the scene was secure and there was no active threat. Brown said parents need to make sure the school has the correct phone numbers to ensure they receive the calls.
School board members did not comment on what type of action would be taken to enforce policy or if metal detectors would be expanded to additional schools.
“We do have in certain schools, we conduct metal detector searches in some schools when there’s a need for this type of thing, but this is an isolated incident and we just try to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Brown.
At this time, no charges have been filed in this shooting. The sheriff’s office is assisting the board of education’s public safety department with the investigation. Dr. Pringle said once public safety has completed the investigation, all aspects of the board’s safety plan will be reviewed.
Stay with WJBF News Channel 6 for more on this developing story.