News 5 Investigates

Aug 19, 2014 6:54 PM by Eric Ross

News 5 Investigates: Parents not always alerted when guns are found in school

Numbers sent to us by the Colorado Department of Education show nearly half of all schools where guns, rifles, and explosives were confiscated from are located right here in southern Colorado.

While schools are required to report gun incidents to the CDE, News 5 learned parents are not required to be notified about certain incidents involving firearms on campus.

"You think you send your kid to school and that they will be safe there and getting a good education," mother Briana Loy said. "You wouldn't think you'd be putting your kids in harms way or danger."

Safety in schools is on the radar for parents not just locally, but across the nation.

Tuesday morning, police arrested two teenagers in Pasadena, Calif. for allegedly making threats to gun down students.

Closer to home, last year's shooting at Arapahoe High School took the life of Claire Davis, 17.

School districts are supposed to report weapons incidents using the following three categories:

-Handguns
-Rifles and shotguns
-Other firearms to include, but not limited to:
     -Grenades
     -Missiles
     -Rockets

News 5 learned District 11, the largest district in Colorado Springs had to most gun incidents last school year.

School security seized a total of three shotguns and rifles from Mitchell High School and one handgun from Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy.

"It's really scary, but you know this is the wild, wild west," one resident said.

Lewis Palmer High School had one handgun incident last year, while Fisher's Peak Elementary in Trinidad had two incidents.

"That's a shocker that a kid would be able to take a firearm to school," Loy said.
News 5 also found what appears to be mistakes in the state's report.

Districts 20 and 49 are on the list, but both deny ever having any type of firearms incident last school year and say the state's data is wrong.

Don Knapp, the principal at the Pikes Peak School of Expeditionary Learning where the state documented two firearms incidents last year, went on camera to dispute the Department of Education's report.

"I've been here since 2002 and in that time frame, we've never had a gun incident or anything like that found on campus," Knapp said. "I've talked to the CDE and they are looking into it and they said they would call me back."

Pueblo City Schools do not show up on any of the CDE's gun violence reports. It's unclear at this point in time whether that data was reported to the CDE. News 5 will be sure to follow-up.

Accuracy of gun reporting statistics for schools were called into question after the Arapahoe High School shooting was not properly reported.

Below is a map of all gun incidents in schools across our state.

Below is a map of all incidents in Colorado schools.

To view an itemized breakdown of the CDE's report (Microsoft Excel format), click here.

 

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