I-TEAM: A look at past incidents, security at Josey High School

Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 5:06 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Wednesday shooting at T. W. Josey High School is a reminder of what happened on Sept. 17 in the middle of football season.

This isn’t the first time the spotlight has been on Josey High School.

There were huge crowds at that event when two people were injured in a shooting on school grounds at the homecoming celebration.

A 19-year-old and an 18-year-old were arrested a few days later.

We reached out to the FBI in Atlanta, and you may be surprised to find out that the FBI does not track school violence data.

We also found there are no federal laws or requirements that exist for K-12 schools to report crime in schools, according to the National School Safety and Security Services. There’s the Clery Act, but that’s only for colleges and universities.

The I-TEAM tracked down national and local data for you.


The National Center for Education Statistics shows shootings at school at every level, from elementary, middle, to high school, like we saw at Josey have increased from 2001 to 2022.

The latest data we have from Josey shows at least 10 different incidents. That was anything from stun guns being found, threats through AirDrop, and now weapons being used on campus.

Numbers from the Richmond County School System in 2021 to 2022 show there were more than 1,600 instances of fighting, more than 2,700 disorderly conduct cases, 25 knives located, and 60 other weapons found.

We have reached out to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, GBI, and the Georgia Department of Education to see if school districts have to report school violence to them.

The GBI says violence would be reported by school police if they’re a reporting agency. We’re working to find out if they are or not.


The statewide push to strengthen security in our schools

We know an armed school resource officer was on Josey’s campus when the shooting happened, and Sheriff Richard Roundtree says others quickly arrived on the scene.

That could be because Richmond County Schools has the most resource officers this year than it has in a while.

The I-TEAM found that the number has jumped from 34 district-wide to 43 in the last five years.

  • 2018-2019: 34
  • 2019-2020: 40
  • 2020-2021: 33
  • 2021-2022: 34
  • 2022-2023: 43

We’re still waiting on numbers from the start of the school year, but we heard Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bradshaw say there’s an armed officer in every school, and there are 51 schools in the district, so we can assume that number jumped again.

A new Georgia law went into effect in August called the Safe School Act. It requires every public school in the state to have its students complete an active shooter drill by Oct. 1.

That deadline is coming up pretty quickly. Parents can have their kids opt out. We asked if students at Josey had completed theirs, but we have not heard back. However, Roundtree says his deputies and school resource officers completed their drill a few months ago.

“I think that was immensely important that we just went through this a couple of months ago with everybody knowing their ways and knowing how exactly how to take action because this could have been a lot more tragic than it is. We hate that a shooting happened at all, but we’re extremely grateful that it didn’t result in a loss of life,” he said.

South Carolina law requires public schools to conduct at least two active shooter drills each year, one per semester. New York requires the most of any state, making schools do lock-down drills, four times every single school year.