(Shelby County, TN) Overton High School students are safe this afternoon after the Shelby County School District avoided possible tragedy.
Metal detectors are credited for catching an Overton student with a gun and ammo as he walked into schools.
Every day when students walk into Overton High Schools they walk through metal detectors, and Tuesday that precaution paid off as officers found a handgun and five rounds of ammo in a student’s backpack.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s office says the student was immediately arrested and charged with possession of a weapon on school property.
The school was never put on lockdown, because officers got the gun as soon as it came into the school.
Parent Carla Ray didn’t find out about the gun until she picked her daughter up hours later for a doctor’s appointment.
“I’m just glad nothing has happened, but I would like to be notified about my daughter’s welfare,” said Ray.
The school district has the capability of sending an alert to all parents, but SCS says it didn’t send out an alert because the gun was immediately taken out of the student’s hands, and they didn’t want to cause a panic.
“If that was found I don’t know what else is going to take place this evening so I just want to get them home,” said Michele Hopkins.
Hopkins picked her son up early after she saw a story about the gun on the news, and she’s not happy she didn’t get an alert.
“They need to do a better job with that because we entrust our children to them for several hours a day and they expect communication from us, so I expect the same,” said Hopkins.
Other parents are just thankful the security checkpoint at the school worked, and the gun never made it closer to students.
“It could have ended differently but I’m glad they caught him in time because something serious could have happened during the class periods,” said Sherri Maybry.
The following a letter was sent to Overton HS parents:
Dear Parent or Guardian,
I would like to inform you of an incident that occurred at Overton High School today.
During our routine metal detection this morning, staff discovered that a student was in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The Shelby County Sherriff Officers at the school immediately took possession of the weapon before the student was able to enter the school. Weapons of any kind are prohibited on campuses. The student has been arrested and strictly disciplined in accordance with Shelby County Schools Board policy.
I want to commend our staff for taking immediate action. They are trained to handle emergency situations, but we need your support to help ensure Overton HS remains a safe learning environment. You can assist us by talking to your child about the consequences of bringing inappropriate items to school. Additionally, we will continue reinforcing all messages around student safety in school.
Should you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the school.
We appreciate your continued support of Overton HS.