Students cannot bring firearms into schools!

Published 8:01 am Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

When I grew up, a long time ago, there was no safer place than the local elementary school. The only things I had to fear were the teacher and the principal and they knew how to keep us straight.

If I was caught chewing gum, I was told to get rid of it. If a student disturbed the class, the student would sit in the corner and clean the erasers. Writing sentences on the blackboard could be a punishment.

Generally, the only noise in the classroom was the teacher; we behaved. If the teacher had to contact parents, all heck could break lose.

Behavior in high school could be worse. There were students who smoked cigarettes on school property, some fights, and a few problems with the student cars in the parking lot.

Back then, a school resource officer (SRO) was not needed. There were no drug or gun problems because they basically didn’t exist at any school.

Over the years, culture has changed and it seems like almost anything can be a problem. Smart phones, social media and streaming are contributing factors. Many believe parenting is a big part of the problem.

And now firearms can be found in schools.

Recently two students from Southside High School were charged with felony possession of a firearm on school property and felony possession of a firearm with altered serial number by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. The weapon and ammo had been confiscated from a student at the school.

This an unforgivable occurrence. Students with guns have killed other students, teachers and staff at far too many schools. Given the number of schools in the country, shootings are uncommon but more gun problems are occurring at schools on a daily basis.

Beaufort County has an SRO at each school and metal detectors have been discussed. One SRO is a big help but how many SROs does there need to be to feel that the schools are safe?

Metal detectors are a deterrent but how much do they really help plus the cost of materials and labor is considerable.

My main problem is; why do the schools need them in the first place? Has culture changed so much that unacceptable behavior at all levels, including the government is tolerated.

If a student is found with a firearm on school property, obviously the weapon needs to be compensated and the student charged, no exceptions.

All students have a parent or guardian. It’s their responsibility to supervise and raise their child, nobody else. It is not the school’s responsibility to raise children. It is not the school’s fault if a child misbehaves. It goes all the way back to the parents.

If a student brings a firearm on school property, I believe there needs to be accountability by both the child and the parents. It’s time to stop these things from occurring.

The big concern is firearm problems are only going to increase if there is not change. We should never need metal detectors at schools.

Beaufort County is fortunate to have an SRO in each school and an involved and proactive Sheriff’s Office.

Al Klemm is a Washington resident and a former Beaufort County Commissioner.