GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County high school student is in jail after opening fire toward someone in a moving car on campus, Gwinnett County School Police said.
17-year-old Kaleb Henderson was charged with aggravated assault, carrying a weapon in a school safety zone and reckless conduct on Friday.
Channel 2′s Matt Johnson learned that Henderson is being accused of shooting at someone in a car at Shiloh High School just after dismissal at 2:15 p.m.
“We had just got out of school and not even three minutes later, we heard three gunshots in the air,” a Shiloh High School senior named Nathan said.
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Witnesses say the incident began with a fight on campus and one of the people involved in the fight got a gun out of bag and started shooting.
The violence happened a day after a Gwinnett School Board meeting where district leaders faced criticism and concern about school safety district-wide.
“There have been threats of shootings in Meadowcreek High School,” one parent said during the meeting. “What will you guys help us do to keep our children safe?”
Even some teachers voiced concerns about student and staff safety.
“If safety and teacher wellness are not placed at the forefront of all that is going on in the schools,” said Leslie Anderson, a teacher and coach at Meadowcreek High School, “why would any more teachers come in, and why would teachers stay?”
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Before the start of the school year, the school board passed changes to its discipline policy by easing tribunal standards. The goal is to reduce the number of minority students disproportionally punished.
Some teachers have said students are taking advantage of the changes.
“We do not deserve to be treated and talked to like we have been treated these past several months since you implemented this policy,” said one teacher at the GIVE Center East, an alternative school.
Superintendent Calvin Watts showed data that suggested incidents and referrals are down in 2022 compared to recent years during the meeting.
“We’re just getting started,” said Dr. Watts, “and the more complex behaviors that we’re attempting to see the longer that it might take for us to see this happen in a way that is sustainable.”
He pushed back against suggestions that the discipline policy is responsible for violence.
“We are responding,” he said. “Now, it may not be in the way that is comfortable for all. But it is a way that we found that is not only research, but it’s evidence-based.”
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