Gainesville HS lockdown controversy

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

GAINESVILLE, Tex. --School administrators in Gainesville are working to prevent violence in their schools. The high school went on lockdown for a drill on Friday, causing rumors to run rampant among the community.

After a 16-year-old was seriously injured in a gang fight in Gainesville last week, campus police, along with the principal decided to make sure dangerous activity stayed off school property. Administrators even canceled the pep rally in the process.

Authorities normally only search for drugs during the drills, but decided to include a weapons search as well.

"They pulled us out of class and we had to take everything out of our pockets and drug dogs and everything," said Lenzie Bryant, a GHS senior.

School officials say they only found three small pocket knives in the search. After the lockdown, a student sent a text message to their parent, saying the student learned someone at school had a gun.

At that point, administrators decided to keep kids in class instead of holding the pep rally.

"When we get any information like this, especially before an activity such as a pep rally, we have to take a look at that because there's a large group of people involved and our first concern is with the safety of the youngsters and we're if we're going to make a mistake, we're going to make it on the side of the youngsters and them being safe," said Bill Gravitt, Gainesville ISD superintendent.

The district has its own police department and chief. They have also brought in extra Gainesville police officers to keep gang activity far from school property.

"It’s scary,” Bryant said. “You really don't want it to happen at your school, but I guess with everything that's been going on it's a little expected now."

Parents we spoke to today say they did not receive a letter explaining what happened on Friday. The school principal plans to send a letter home sometime this week, Gravitt said.

"90% of our youngsters are outstanding kids, outstanding students and come from outstanding families. We don't want to let 10% of your youngsters control what happens in our school."

Incidentally, the 16-year-old injured in the gang fight was not a student at Gainesville high school and is still recovering in a Fort Worth hospital.

From Friday........................
GAINESVILLE, Tex. -- Gainesville High School was placed on lockdown Friday, but officials tell us not to worry. It was only a drill.

In addition to that practice-run, authorities conducted a random drug search with dogs.

School officials say today's drill was to go over safety and security protocol.

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  • by a student Location: that attended the locke down. on Oct 1, 2007 at 07:11 AM
    its not like the lockedown (spell check) was want them to do something, then you complain when they step up. well got so dang metal dectecters. and they are in use. theonly problem is..WE'RE STILL IN SCHOOL WITH THE GANGSTERS STUPID! so how safe are we?? and we dont need those little gay hand metal detecters we need the walk thrus. OMG! yea but stop your whining!
  • by Jason Location: Gainesville Texas on Sep 25, 2007 at 01:03 PM
    Am I the only person that finds it just a little funny how long it has taken for any statement from the school? And as far as the comment left by "That Girl", if you were even paying attention this has nothing to do with being prepared, it is the lack of truth. It would also help if you knew a little better grammar. "Whether it was a drill or something else the school employees done what had to be done. Just like the school in Durant done when they had the bomb scare." Done? I guess some people will never understand untill they have children of their own.
  • by MR. X Location: Lindsay on Sep 25, 2007 at 12:05 PM
    First the PD isn't doing enough, now they are doing to much. I say good job GPD for keeping gang members on thier toes!!!!!
  • by Anonymous Location: Sherman on Sep 25, 2007 at 11:22 AM
    You parents need to wake up, if the school had any sense at all, all they would have had to do is send out notes to the parents and letters making sure they knew this was a drill, it is for the safety of the kids, and parents so you not get more involoved in your kids activities at school, I guess not
  • by That Girl Location: Bryan County on Sep 25, 2007 at 07:27 AM
    Gainsville parents should be glad that the school is prepared for emergencies. Whether it was a drill or something else the school employees done what had to be done. Just like the school in Durant done when they had the bomb scare. I think the employees deserve a big Thank you and praise for their services.
  • by tired of it Location: Gainesville on Sep 25, 2007 at 07:04 AM
    This was not just a drill,everytime something happens like this, the school officials cover it up. Call the Gainesville PD and ask if it was just a drill. People are transferring out of Gainesville school like crazy, they wanted a dress code to stop the violence and what they need are metal detectors. We as parents need to go before the school board and demand answers as to how they are keeping our child safe. When you pull up to let your Jr.High student out for school and the the sheriff's car is sitting in front of the school and ask the Vice Principal if something is going on, you don't want to hear " I HAVE NO IDEA" from him like I did. That really makes me want to send my child into his care! When something bad happens employees are told that they had better not discuss it outside of the school.These are our childen's lives that are in their hands. How will GISD pay for their new school, when all of the tax payers have moved away to protect their children?
  • by bubba redneck Location: sherman on Sep 25, 2007 at 06:08 AM
    maybe i'm reading it wrong ...what was the controversy????surely high school kids arn't complaining like they have rights in schools??
  • by Speechless Location: Gainesville on Sep 24, 2007 at 09:00 PM
    Do they really expect us to believe that everything is just "peachy-keen"?????
  • by angry Location: gainesville on Sep 24, 2007 at 05:09 PM
    I am just sick, over what is going on at the high school. A "DRILL" come on give me a break!! Why would you have two "DRILLS" in one day? We as parent need the truth. I always wondered what the parent were thinking as they heard the news that there was a shooting at there kids school....well now I know, I got a text message from my child saying they were on lock down, and tried to call the school, and noone would answer, I just knew there had to be somthing horrible that had happened, I was sick!! Put prayer back in our school system, and get these troubled kids some help, before someone else gets hurt or killed!!!!! my prayers are with GHS!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by G-ville Alumni Location: Gainesville on Sep 24, 2007 at 05:02 PM
    So what's the big deal with the drug dogs, that happened at least once during a six week period when I was in school. Also when I was in high school there was also many bomb threats, one in perticular where students had to go from a pep rally and stay in the football staduim for hours until lunch. Parents weren't not notified of that until the students came home. So what's the big deal?
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