Metro Atlanta schools see spike in number of guns on campus

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A Channel 2 Action News investigation found a spike in the number of guns found in metro Atlanta schools.

Channel 2's Aaron Diamant sorted through a new Georgia Department of Education disciplinary database.

It shows the number of incidents of guns found in Fulton County schools went from four in 2015 to 18 in 2016 to 23 last school year.

Bear Creek Middle School in south Fulton County topped the statewide list with five guns. Nearby Creekside High School had four.

"I can go so far as to say that very rarely will a student bring a gun or any other type of weapon in any of our schools and we are not aware and we do not locate that," said Dr. Shannon Flounnory, executive director of safety and security of Fulton County Schools. "We're always worried about the one that slips past the goalie."


For comparison, Atlanta Public Schools ranked second with eight incidents in 2015, 17 in 2016 and 16 in 2017. DeKalb County had seven in 2015, 12 in 2016 and 18 last school year.

Cobb, Clayton and Gwinnett county schools each had far fewer incidents.

Flounnory said schools mirror society.

"We have rapidly become a society in which guns and having access to guns are the new norm," he said.

He said students are more willing to come forward with critical intelligence about guns. He added that kids found with guns are often cooperative.

"They're very straightforward (with) where they got the weapons from, do they bring the weapons to school often, (and) who else in the school may have a weapon," Flounnory said.

He said he's still saddened by the spike in guns at school.

"We're very happy that more and more students are taking responsibility in providing us with information," he said.

Flounnory said the numbers in the report are not necessarily predictive of a horrific school shooting.