Albany City Schools Tighten Security after Weapons Found on Campuses

Albany City Schools Tighten Security after Weapons Found on Campuses

On Dec. 13, 2018, a random student let a high school student in via a side door, allowing that student to avoid the metal detectors at the main entrance and bring in a loaded BB gun. As a result, alarms were added to about 30 doors at the campus over winter break.

Albany High School and Albany City Schools’ middle school campuses are tightening security after three recent incidents in which weapons have made their way onto campuses.

On Dec. 13, 2018, a random student let a high school student in via a side door, allowing that student to avoid the metal detectors at the main entrance and bring in a loaded BB gun. As a result, alarms were added to about 30 doors at the campus over winter break.

"If that door is opened, there's an alarm that sounds, and that will be active as soon as tomorrow [Jan. 09]," said Kaweeda Adams, Superintendent of Albany City Schools.

According to district spokesperson Ron Lesko, the following week a student walked through O’Neal Middle School’s front entry metal detectors with a BB gun in their backpack. The alarm was triggered, but the student wasn’t stopped by the hall monitor, who is now on administrative leave pending an investigation.

During the same week, Adams said, another middle school student was found with a knife. The knife passed through the metal detectors undetected because it’s made of ceramic materials.

"So, what we have done is we have re-calibrated our metal detectors so that we can pick up some of those items that may be right at that threshold," Adams told NEWS10 ABC.

Adams said she believes the weapons were brought to campuses for self-defense rather than malicious reasons.

"Sometimes our students face challenges out in the community and they'll bring items with them thinking that they're going to be able to protect themselves," she said.

According to school officials, both BB guns resembled .45 caliber handguns. If they’d been mistaken for a lethal weapon, the situations could have turned even more dangerous.

Adams urges students to reach out to campus adults for help rather than trying to resolve issues themselves. The district is currently working to develop an anonymous tip line students can use.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

Digital Edition

  • Campus Security & Life Safety Magazine - September October 2019

    September/October 2019

    Featuring:

    • Security Technology is a Top Priority
    • HERO Unit Provides School Security
    • Confront Active Shooters
    • Run, Hide, and Let Law Enforcement Fight

    View This Issue