16 Weapons Found in Shelby County Schools Since Classes Started

16 Weapons Found in Shelby County Schools Since Classes Started

According to Memphis police five handguns have been found. All were at legacy Memphis City Schools: Hamilton, Whitehaven and Wooddale High Schools, Cypress Middle and Westside Elementary.
MEMPHIS, TN -- Cracking down on weapons in schools. 16 weapons have been found in Shelby County Schools since the start of class August 5th.

There's a new twist and criminal charges in the case of the kindergartner who brought a loaded gun to school at the end of August.

The boys' mother, Tencil Jones and her boyfriend, Marvin Millbrook are both charged with reckless endangerment. Investigators say jones' five year old son brought the gun to school in his backpack last month.

It went off in the middle of the school's crowded cafeteria. Luckily, no one was hurt.

"What we've proven with our current school system is we have a district that's prepared to respond to these issues and make sure we keep our kids safe," says Kevin Woods. Unfortunately Woods is speaking from experience. He says the 16 weapons brought to school are not that much more than last year.

"I think the number was about 14 last year as well so it's about the same."

According to Memphis police five handguns have been found. All were at legacy Memphis City Schools: Hamilton, Whitehaven and Wooddale High Schools, Cypress Middle and Westside Elementary.

"My daughter goes to Westside Elementary," says Lenora Garner. "She's 6 years old. She's in the first grade."

Garner's trying to get her little girl into a charter school. "I'm trying to do that now just for safety."

The other weapons found include five lethal cutting instruments, like knives and six items classified as others, like brass knuckles.

"School just started back. That is pretty high," says Katherine Anderson.

"You're talking about 140,000 kids in school district," Woods says. "This is a community issue. It finds its way into our schools and we're going to do everything we can to make sure our schools are safe, but we don't pack the bags of the kids who are bringing the guns to school."

A spokesperson with Shelby County Schools says metal detectors and handwands are in or available to all schools.

"I don't think metal detectors and suspensions are really going to get to the root of the problem," says Tiffany Kadenhead. For her, the punishment isn't stopping the crime. Her kids aren't in public schools.

"I home school. For a lot of reasons. Safety being one of them. I think it starts with addressing why do people turn to violence? What are the root causes? Until we get to that solution nothing is going I change."

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy believes starting with the community is right idea. He thinks school security needs to come from those who know the community best.

"It makes more sense for the MPD to continue to be policing both schools in Memphis and the neighborhoods immediately around them all with the same people in a coordinated effort. Unfortunately we haven't been able to work out an agreement to have the MPD to continue to do that."

"Ive been urging the administrations to work that out so far we haven't been able to."

We asked to talk with the chief of security and were told we have to wait several weeks because they are assessing the situation
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