Stockton schools raise security after weapons found | News
STOCKTON, CA - Cleveland Elementary School went on lock down to find a gun on campus Friday morning.
School district police said a group of young students told authorities they knew of a "big kid" who brought a gun to school. Police started searching 8th grade classes, where they found a plastic air pellet gun in a student's backpack; later, police searched 7th grade classes, where they found even more weapons.
"They went through our backpacks and they found a kid with two knives he was sitting on," 7th grade student Lucia Gomez said.
Just two weeks ago, a real gun was brought into Van Buren Elementary School by two 7th grade students. Stockton school district police said if children are going to be arming themselves, they're going to take stronger steps to keep those weapons out; starting with bringing in more metal detectors.
School district police Chief Jim West would also like the district to get K9s on staff to help in random searches. He's issued an order to all schools to start randomly checking any child's belongings. Right now, they do it at some of the high schools, but not often at elementary and middle schools.
"As long as it's random and not going after one particular person based on heresy, then it's absolutely fine," said West on the legality of random searches.
And it's absolutely fine by several parents who were shocked to hear that knives and guns are making their way into the classrooms.
"I think it's a good idea, because children carry things that they shouldn't," parent of middle school students Lorraine Gomez said. "And there's also a lot of stealing going on. So, if they have something they shouldn't then it should be removed."
Eight officers were brought in to handle the lock down and searches at Cleveland Elementary School.
West would like to add more officers to permanently stay on campuses, but he said staffing changes will have to wait until after the election and he presents a budget to the school board in December.