Parents have expressed concerns after a loaded gun was found inside a school locker at The Howard School.

On Monday, parents received the following letter:

Parents,

I wanted to make you aware of a situation at school today.  School administration working in cooperation with the school SRO and the Chattanooga Police Department confiscated a gun that was found in a locker at school.  CPD took the student into custody who was responsible for bringing the weapon to school.  There were no threats made toward the school or any students at the school.  I want to thank our school SRO and the Chattanooga Police Department for their quick and thorough work in this situation.  We appreciate our law enforcement partners in the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and the Chattanooga Police Department who help us to keep our school safe.

We also depend on our students and parents to share concerns and information with us to keep our children safe.  If you or your child see something on social media or hear something in the community involving our school that makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to contact me or someone at the school.  Safety is a top priority for us here at The Howard School.  Together we can provide a safe learning environment for our children.  Thank you for your support of your children and The Howard School.  


Tim Hensley, a spokesperson for Hamilton County schools says it was sent after a student, Desmond McKevie, was arrested on school campus.

“There are a lot of things that go on in the community and we're a part of the community and we work with those and deal with them everyday,” said Hensley.
               
McKevie, who was wanted by Chattanooga police, is believed to be responsible for a shooting on Sunday afternoon. According to a police report, McKevie threatened to kill a former classmate following a verbal fight the two had last year. Police say McKevie shot at the student’s car on Sunday. The next day police tracked McKevie using the GPS monitor he was wearing. The school's student resource officer found McKevie, who then admitted to having a gun in his bookbag, which was inside his locker.

“That was averted again by keeping our partnerships current [and] making sure we're working with law enforcement, our parents and students,” said Hensley.

Hensley says safety is the school district's top priority. He says schools have adopted technology to lock doors and identify visitors. When Channel 3 asked how school officials know if someone who may pass background clearance does not have a gun, Hensley responded saying “how do I know you don’t have one?”

We also asked if the school district is looking into any new resources or technology to help detect weapons. Hensley said the administration is always looking to keep students safe.

“There's a lot of different options out there and as you look at any of them none of them are full proof that are going to absolutely assure that something you don't want to be brought in won't be brought in,” said Hensley.

Channel 3 reached out to school board member, Tiffanie Robinson, who represents The Howard School. She sent the following statement:

I am deeply sadden by the events that occurred at Howard High yesterday. It make me sad that we live in a time where children have easy access to guns. The district is working closely with the Chattanooga Police Department as well as the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office to ensure that our schools are properly secured, our SRO’s are alert and aware of potential incidences and our administrators are also equally prepared.  

According to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, the school district has 31 SROs at 29 different schools. They plan to have seven more assigned in January.