Security concerns surface after student brings gun

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A student brought a gun to school on Sept. 5, the second occurrence since 2013, raising concerns about security.

The school identified the student after he arrived on a late bus according to an administrator. A student’s tip motivated administration to search the accused’s backpack, but otherwise the student may have carried the gun into school undetected.

When students arrive in the morning, they walk through metal detectors and, at certain times, hand their bags to staff members for a brief search. However, the process is rushed and not thorough. A weapon hidden in a side pocket of a backpack, for instance, would easily go unnoticed.

Grady is also an open campus, making it easier to enter and leave the grounds. No fence separates the school from adjacent 10th Street and Piedmont Park, and another entrance on 8th Street leads to the courtyard. Doors are unlocked throughout the school day, allowing students to travel as needed, but also leaving the school unprotected. It would not be difficult to walk off the street and into a building anytime during the school day.

Since a Southerner staffer raised security concerns in a published commentary in 2017, the school implemented new changes: doors to the outside must be locked after school hours, and an entrance to the instructional suites from the gravel lot is now locked in the morning.

But in a country tallying 64 instances of gunfire on school grounds this year, four of which occurred in Georgia, we must do more to protect ourselves. Loose enforcement of security puts students and faculty in danger and ignores the possibility of a worst-case-scenario.

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