School is out for summer vacation, but there is a dark cloud hanging over Scotland County.
It was reported by this newspaper that two students brought a “gun” into Scotland High School. Authorities did not know the students had the gun until a parent saw a picture after the incident. How did a student get a gun into the school without it being detected? It clearly shows there is a hole in the security system at the high school.
Parkland, Florida authorities chose to ignore a habitual problem child they had with Nikolas Cruz. School officials expelled Nikolas from school thinking that would eliminate the problem. Nikolas was well known to the sheriff’s department and was never put into the system; thus, he was allowed to legally purchase firearms that killed 17 people and wounded 17 others. Due to a lack of school security, he was allowed to enter the high school with firearms.
Since the article appeared in this paper of two students bringing a gun into Scotland High School, nothing has been mentioned in the media by any school, county or city official. I would have believed we should be hearing an update of what is happening to these students and the school security. Why the silence? Parents, students and teachers should be outraged that this could happen in our high school.
I understand that because these students are minors, there needs to be secrecy with their identities. What is happening to these students? I am sure there are students following what legal penalties these two are facing. What measures are the school board and county commissioners doing to insure the safety of our students? The current situation and the actions being taken need to be open and transparent. Our officials need to meet with our citizens about actions being taken to insure the safety of our students is never in question.
We need to hear an explanation of how a gun got in our school and what actions are being taken now to address this security problem. Our children’s security should not take summer vacation. If our leaders do not have the expertise, then we should request assistance from the State agencies that have the knowledge on how to insure the safety of every student. Let’s not repeat the errors of Parkland, Florida.
Our elected officials have an obligation to the citizens of Scotland County to get the security of our schools corrected before school opens in a few months. The media has a responsibility to not allow school security gather dust. The biggest problem we have is an unquestioning media and elected officials who remain silent.
Jim Johnston lives in Laurinburg