Weapons in Spokane schools decrease in 2011-2012


by Ashley Korslien


Posted on May 30, 2012 at 6:36 PM

SPOKANE-- Current crime rates in Spokane have been soaring. KREM 2 News filed a public records request to find out if more students are showing up with weapons. Parents might be pleased to learn fewer students are turning up with knives and guns.              

The weapons report dates back to the 2009-2010 school year through present.
In the 2009/2010 school year, 193 weapons were seized district wide. This year, that number dropped significantly, to 144.

Mary Templeton, Rogers High School Assistant Principal said, “We’ve done a lot of informational campaigns with our kids, making sure they understand this is an environment for learning and that is just not part of this.”

Templeton attributes the decline to better communication between educators, and students.”Things that don't belong here that are a disruption and a distraction leave them home.”

It hasn't been an easy battle for the school. Rogers tops the weapons list with a combined three year total of 59 items seized. Templeton said “I’m very meticulous about documentation so at this school you're gonna find every single item, anything that was of a concern was documented.”

Shaw recovered the most weapons of all middle schools at 33, and Holmes, the top elementary school, with 25 weapons.

The majority of weapons seem to be knives and those listed as "other." Several explosives and one handgun were also reported.

Templeton doesn't believe most students bring weapons to school with the intent to cause harm. “What we end up finding are items that kids have forgotten in their pockets, in their backpacks.”

While the numbers are promising, she admits, there's still work to be done. “We know we don't live in a perfect world, so our responsibility is to plan and be proactive and strategic and intentional in how we do support students, so we do offer an environment that is consistently safe, secure.”

Educators at Rogers say there are two district resource officers in their building, which could be a reason why Rogers confiscates more weapons than other schools. They simply have more eyes to watch the problem.

Although the number of weapons has gone down the past three years, the number of schools finding weapons has gone up.