FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – Nobody got hurt, but a student who fired gunshots into the air after stepping off a school bus this week is stirring up debate about the use of metal detectors in Fort Wayne Community Schools.
It’s prompting different views from parents and leaders about the right way to ensure security in the large urban district.
A Northrop High School student was kicked out of school after he was ID’d as the boy who got off a school bus Monday afternoon on Colerick Street and fired multiple shots into the air.
Home security camera video showed young people scattering moments after the gunfire.
The situation prompted a letter to parents from the principal.
On Tuesday, another letter was sent out, this one to parents of kids at Kekionga Middle School, where a student faced discipline after pulling a knife out in class.
Metal detectors are not employed by the district.
A Northrop parent has seen coverage of too many mass shootings to wave off risks.
“You send your kid to school not knowing if they’ll make it home that day, you know. So yeah, I definitely agree with more metal detectors and possibly more armed security or officers at the schools,” said Josh Letner.
FWCS administrators say they are warranted in putting up the stop sign on metal detectors.
“Studies have shown that when there are metal detectors in place, people actually let their guard down a little bit,” said spokesperson Krista Stockman.
Among the arguments against–they are expensive to buy, expensive to staff and that they can send the wrong message to students.
“We don’t want people to feel like it’s not a welcoming place,” Stockman said.
A secure vestibule is being installed at Northrop High School, funneling visitors into a formal check-in area.
It’s a way to keep an “active shooter” with ill intent from roaming freely around the building.
“In a real crisis, what you want to do is slow down the intruder,” Stockman said.
Construction of more secure vestibules in FWCS buildings are being planned.
We contacted the Allen County Prosecutor’s office, to see if the Northrop student who fired the weapon after getting off the bus will face criminal charges, and if so, what those charges might be.
At the time of this report, no one from that office had returned our calls.