City Leaders debate Where The Problem Lies when a Gun is Brought Into School

Photo taken Tuesday, August 25, 2015 of a Richmond County Sheriff's Office patrol car parked at W.S. Hornsby K-8 School in Augusta, Georgia.
Photo taken Tuesday, August 25, 2015 of a Richmond County Sheriff's Office patrol car parked at W.S. Hornsby K-8 School in Augusta, Georgia.

The incident at Hornsby Elementary has brought a lot of negative attention to the Richmond County School System.

Some feel like this is an issue within the schools while others say it’s a problem in the community.

On Wednesday News Channel 6 spoke with Sheriff Richard Roundtree who said he believes the Richmond County School System has a problem with guns in schools.

Friday we spoke with the Board of Education’s Public Safety Chief who says, these kids are bringing guns into the school, and that makes it a problem outside of school walls.

Just a month into the school year Richmond County has fallen under scrutiny, after a child brought a gun into school, and accidentally fired it, injuring another student.

Law enforcement ruled the incident an accident.

Chief Alfonzo Williams says elementary students are most likely to pick up a gun out of curiosity.

“We would say that we had a really bad school problem if kids were saying they were doing it simply to protect themselves, and I submit to you that’s just not the case,” Chief Alfonzo Williams said.

Williams says their best line of defense is to educate the public, but just like what happened at Hornsby, negligence leads to liability.

“We’re employing all the resources that we can to minimize the likelihood that these things will happen, but we can’t do it alone, we need the help of the community we need the help of parents,” the Chief added.

He says the Sheriff’s Office has pledged to work with the school system. After Tuesday’s incident, federal authorities have reached out to Richmond County.

“We are currently in talks with the United States Attorney’s Office out of Savannah they’ve talked about bringing a gun pledge program to our schools,” Williams said.

Education can only go as far as parents and kids are willing to listen. So I asked the Chief what happens in the worst case scenario.

“If a kid is shot and killed in school what happens then? What do you guys do then?” I asked Williams. He responded by saying, “We do what we’ve done in this case. We act quickly, and responsibly, and appropriately.”

Even with several incidences of guns at school in the last couple of years, the Richmond County BOE Police still believe their best preventative action is education.

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