Superintendent calls on parents to help curb weapons
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Richmond County’s superintendent sent a letter to parents on Wednesday after a pair of shootings at football gatherings and two days of online rumors of school threats.
“Unfortunately, violence and activity in the community is disrupting our schools,” Dr. Kenneth Bradshaw stated in the letter before reminding parents that bringing weapons onto school property is illegal and will be met with consequences.
“Weapons have no place in our schools or on our campuses,” he said before quoting the law it’s against and listing types of weapons ranging from pistols to shuriken to stun guns.
This week, online rumors of threats at multiple schools brought a crowd of parents to Josey to get their kids. In the crowd was a woman refused to leave and slugged a security officer, leading to her arrest, according to authorities.
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Bradshaw noted in the latter that “any student caught bullying, participating in disruptive activities, or with weapons will receive consequences based on the Richmond County Board of Education Code of Student Conduct and Discipline and applicable state law.”
Students also risk being removed from all extracurricular activities and athletic events, he said.
“Please have a conversation with your student, monitor their activity, and check their belongings,” he said.
The letter follows a shooting Friday outside a Laney High School game injured no one. One the next day at a Josey High School postgame tailgate party left two people injured.
After the shootings, there was a suggestion at this week’s school board meeting to suspect homecoming activities, but that didn’t pass.
Bradshaw’s letter stops short of some messages from superintendents elsewhere in the CSRA who have imposed new rules on football spectators. The rules range from mandating parental accompaniment of teens to requiring that personal items be carried into the stadium in clear bags so the contents can be seen.
Among the new rules elsewhere:
- In Burke County, children under 14 aren’t allowed in the stadium “unless accompanied by a responsible adult.” Children are to remain with their parents during the game, and parents are asked to escort small children to and from the restrooms and concession area.
- At Allendale-Fairfax High School games, students in eighth grade or below must be accompanied by and stay with a parent or guardian over age 21. Also, all fans must sit in the stands. No one will be allowed to walk or stand around during the game except for going to the restroom and/or the concession stand.
- In McDuffie County – home of the two teens arrested in Friday’s shooting – anyone under 16 must be with an adult, and students must be in their seats unless heading to the restroom or the concession stand. That rule came on the heels of a young man being shot off school property in Thomson.
- Aiken County schools adopted a so-called clear bag policy, meaning most items brought to athletic events must be inside a clear bag. Clear totes cannot be larger than 12 inches by 6 inches, by 12 inches. Small bags or clutches cannot exceed 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches. Clear plastic bags cannot exceed a gallon size.
- Jefferson County also recently updated its rules to require that items brought into stadiums be carried in clear bags only, so the contents will be visible. Also in that district, all patrons must remain seated in the stands during the game.
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