DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Cases of DeKalb County students bringing guns into schools are multiplying.
Last week, a student at Cedar Grove Middle School was overheard talking about another student having a gun. That student was arrested.
Also last week, at Southwest DeKalb High, a student had a gun in his pocket at dismissal. The gun went off by mistake and he shot himself in the foot.
We sat down with the Board of Education Chair Vickie B. Turner to talk about why students are bringing guns to schools and what is the resolution.
She believes it’s time to talk about metal detectors again because these schools need a layer of protection.
“Can we get real? What we’re dealing with demands that we do some things a bit different,” Turner said.
She was all for metal detectors in schools a few years back when parents said no way because they felt detectors would resemble prison.
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But now that middle schoolers and high schoolers are getting caught with guns in different DeKalb schools every week, it’s time to get real about it.
“To establish order. To give support to our leadership in the schoolhouse - our principals and our teachers,” Turner said.
She said everyone is playing the blame game, but she believed a combination of things are causing the rise in gun incidents.
The pandemic, problems in the community, mental health challenges, there’s no village holding kids accountable anymore and school administrators are letting repeat offenders come back onto campus.
“It’s the parenting. It’s the accountability. It’s the responsibility because I’ve often said when kids come to school and they have a gun in their book bag, well who bought the book bag? Does anyone check book bags anymore?” Turner said.
She hopes parents get back to the values of “it takes a village to raise a child” because that’s what the community is missing.
“Speak to my children, correct my children, direct my children. We went to sleep on our responsibilities. We did it as parents, we did it as community, even the church. We fell asleep, and while we were sleeping, the children were running amok. That’s what happened,” Turner said.
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