Should High School Students Be Searched for Guns?

Filed under: In The News, Teen Culture, Education: Teens

high school guns

Backpack contents: Homework, lunch and ... gun? Credit: Getty Images

Two students were shot at Gardena High School in Los Angeles. But this wasn't another Columbine. The shooting was an accident -- a fellow classmate had a gun in his backpack, which went off when he placed it on his desk, according to the Los Angeles Times.

I'm sorry, what did you say?

Let's review: according to published reports, a high school student had a gun in his backpack. When he put his bag down -- a fairly common action for a high school student, putting a bag down -- the gun went off and two kids were wounded. The accidental shooter was reportedly carrying the gun for protection.

Gardena High officials conduct random weapons checks using wand-style metal detectors, but district police chief Steven Zipperman "told the school board Tuesday that it was possible the 17-year-old suspect was not checked for weapons," according to published reports. A student told the Times that the wands were only used "once in a blue moon."

A quick personal anecdote: I went to a New York City high school in the '80s. I knew kids who brought guns to school. To my knowledge, no one was ever shot on the premises, either on purpose or by accident. (New York was really fun in the '80s.) The year I graduated, they were installing metal detectors that every student would have to pass through before entering the building. At the time, I thought it was excessive. Now that I'm a parent, I'm not sure how I feel.

What do you think? Should students have to pass through metal detectors or undergo some kind of weapons check before entering school? Or is that too much?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.