SPOKANE, Wash. – Two Spokane high schools had two separate incidents this week where a student brought a weapon to school.
Spokane Public School leaders take several steps when they find out a student has a weapon on campus. In both incidents this week, tips from students helped staff act quickly to stop the threat. District officials can't underscore how important it is for students to come forward immediately if they see a weapon at school.
“The protection of themselves, others and the general public, and the individual who may have a weapon. I think it's of great importance for them to report it. If they see it, say it. Let an administrator, teacher, or any staff member know,” said Spokane Public Schools spokesman Kevin Morrison.
District Leaders said there are posters up at all the schools with a number for an anonymous tip line students can call. That is what happened Thursday morning at Rogers High School.Staff got an anonymous tip that a student had a knife. If a weapon is reported, staff spring into action immediately to track down the student in question.
“The student is brought down to the office and isolated into an office and approached, as in this particular case, they're asked if they do have a weapon of any kind. And in this particular case they indicated they did and then at that time we'll also search the locker to see if there's anything additional in there,” said Morrison.
If staff can't find the student quickly, that's when the school would go into a lockdown. The incident at Rogers High School on Thursday was not the only one this week. Police arrested a student Monday at Shadle Park High School who assaulted another student off campus then came back to school with a gun. Both incident bring up the question, “Could more be done to prevent incidents like these?”
“You start elevating the levels of security more and more, you're looking at things, the next step for this particular issue would probably have been to have metal detectors in all the entrances and I think Spokane and the citizens of Spokane have kind of let us know, so far they're not ready for those kind of steps of isolation,” said Morrison.
The school district also has to protect students' rights. Just because they hear something does not always make it true and that is why staff work quickly to track down the student reported to have a weapon, isolate them question them and search their belongings and locker.