Parents angry, feel dismissed after loaded gun found at high school

A 15-year-old is being charged with possession of a firearm on school property

UPDATE 11:31 P.M. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Fayette County Public School District says, the student that was arrested on Thursday after a loaded handgun was found at Henry Clay High School, snuck into the building after school was in session, by following a class of students, that was returning with a teacher, after an outdoor activity.
The district says the student, did not follow school procedures that require students to enter through the metal detectors, in the gym or the front entrance.
School officials say the student didn’t have any intent on using the weapon at the school. The 15-year-old is facing a charge of possession of a firearm on school property.

UPDATE 10:45 P.M.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Families are shaken after a loaded handgun was found in a student’s bag at Henry Clay High School Thursday. Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) saying there was no threat to students or staff and the student had no intention of firing the gun.

“How as a parent are we supposed to feel comfortable with that?” says Barbara Smith, a mom to students at Henry Clay High School.

Emotions running high as some parents of Henry Clay students spoke to the Fayette County School Board after a student allegedly was able to bring a loaded handgun inside the building on Thursday morning. Parents telling the district they feel dismissed by how the school is handling the situation.

“I never imagined I would have to get a text message from my daughter in a barricaded room in a school with metal detectors, a failed process obviously,” says Matt Stacy, a Henry Clay student’s dad.

FCPS says it has a 10-step safety plan that worked Thursday but some parents disagree.

“It fails right now when I hear dismissive statements that it’s natural for us all to go the extreme and think about the worst case,” says Smith.

The big question on everyone’s mind, how did the gun get into the school?

FCPS Superintendent Demetrus Liggins says right now, that’s still under investigation, but that the school has metal detectors and bag checks at the front doors.

“Unfortunately, we’re living in a day’s time where we are experiencing these sorts of issues,” says Liggins.

Some Henry Clay students telling ABC 36 despite metal detectors and bag checks, this isn’t the first time weapons have been brought to the school.

“Depending on the person you go to, the person that’s manning the detector, it’s more thorough or less thorough than you think it’d be. Like I’ve had my lunchbox searched once or twice and I’ve had them give it a quick run through and just let me on my way,” says Duncan Landipo about what the morning process looks like.

FCPS says Thursday is a success for the safety plan and that the intentionality on building trust and forming relationships with the students is what led to the gun being found before it was too late.

But for those who want to see change, now’s the time as Liggins says the committee that drafted the safety plan five years ago will reconvene.

“We’ll gather a lot of community involvement and input as we did previously when it was originally made,” says Liggins.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — A harsh reality for some parents, after Henry Clay High School was put on lockdown, after a 15-year-old allegedly brought a gun into school property on Thursday morning.

Those with the Fayette County School District say that during the first class period administrators at Henry Clay High School received information that a student may have a weapon on campus.

Henry Clay was put on lockdown at 9:18 Thursday morning.

Some parents spoke out on the incident.

“This is unacceptable, I refuse to accept that, this is the new normal,” says Frances Henderson, whose child goes to Henry Clay.

“I’m not sure what, how, what you could say did make me feel safe sending him and my younger son,” says Jessica Landipo, whose son goes to Henry Clay High School.

Also adding that, “I just would like to see a nationwide effort to take the guns out of the hands of children.”

One student recalls what happened as the school went on lockdown.

“But there are a couple of times where I would hear where alarms went off on doors, and you could hear students running out of the building, because some people, and then I got messages saying people were trapped inside bathrooms because all the rooms are gone lockdown. That was kind of scary,” says Duncan Landipo, Jessica’s son.

One parent says there was an incident last week that made her daughter call her to pick her up.

“Apparently an ROTC student had been bullied… was upset and had threatened to bring a gun to school. The principal sent out an email that said that that threat was not credible last week, but I hear from other students today that that threat was credible,” says Henderson about the incident last week.

There were no injuries to staff or students but many are wondering how could this happen, especially here at home.

“I want the metal detectors to actually work, this isn’t the first time,” adds Jessica Landipo.

Maria Solorzano is a student at Henry Clay, and spoke in Spanish about schools being safe places.

“Schools are supposed to be safe places, if schools aren’t safe places then why are we coming? There are kids that are not going to want to come back, I don’t want to come back tomorrow,” she says.

Officials with the school say “the lockdown was lifted once law enforcement ensured the safety of the students and staff. While multiple students were interviewed as part of the investigation, only one arrest was made.”

Also adding that, “tomorrow will be a regular school day at Henry Clay High and the rest of the district. A team of counselors from across the district will be on site at the school tomorrow to provide support for students as they process today’s incident.”

The student has not been named because he is a juvenile.

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