Students say gun at school caused panic, school system 'evaluating security measures'

A gun that deputies say a boy brought to school discharged in a Lakeview classroom Friday / Jennifer Munoz (WGXA)

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. (WGXA) -- Students and parents are unsure about school safety after a stolen gun that a boy reportedly brought to Lakeview Academy discharged in a classroom on Friday.

Fifth grader Lamar Pounds said he was not expecting to hear a gunshot at school.

"I was kind of in a panic attack," he said. "I was feeling panic and you know scared."

Student Jonathan Simpson said the rumors spread quickly around Lakeview Academy.

"It was a scary at first until my teacher told me that it would be okay, that if something would have happened he would have told us and he would have gotten us out of the school," Simpson said.

Overall, students said they usually feel safe at school.

"This is unusual behavior for Lakeview Academy," Pounds said. "It's actually a new thing. I think that's one of the reasons that people panicked because I don't think it's very common."

Their parents said more security should be put in place like metal detectors and clear book bag policies.

Theodosa Fripp works with children in Baldwin County. She was alarmed when she heard about another gun in school.

"My thoughts are parents are just not taking things seriously, Fripp said. "It is happening way too often you know, the warnings have been put out there for parents to put their firearms in a box, in a safety box."

Friday night, the Baldwin County School District released the following statement:

"The staff at Lakeview Academy responded swiftly and appropriately to resolve this situation. We want all of our families to know that we are committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for all of our students and staff. Our parents play a critical role in helping us to keep our schools safe by educating their children that weapons of any type have no place inside our schools. Also, parents must help us to emphasize the importance of students telling a family or a staff member if they hear any information about a weapon at school. In this way, we are all working together to keep our school safe.

We are currently evaluating our security measures to determine what changes we need make to our current plan. We are also working closely with the Sheriff’s Department and the Milledgeville Police Department to identify additional security measures. As a school district, we will continue to make safety and security our top priority,” said Superintendent Dr. Noris Price."

Price told WGXA the school system plans to install security cameras in all classrooms using ESPLOST funds.

Currently, middle and high school students are required to have mesh book bags to ensure no weapons are brought on campuses. Price said they are considering requiring clear or mesh book bags in all Baldwin County schools.

The 8-year-old boy was carrying a firearm on a school zone, being in possession of a firearm under 18 years of age, reckless conduct and disrupting interference with a public school. He's also expelled from the school and will wear an ankle monitor.

Just a few weeks ago, deputies say a 12-year-old student brought an unloaded gun to Midway Hills Academy in Baldwin County.

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