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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