Parents call for stiffer penalty following shooting at Banneker High School
FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Some Banneker High School parents are taking a hard line on students involved in a shooting in a 10th-grade classroom Thursday.
Fulton County Schools confirmed three students were arrested in connection with what the district called an "accidental discharge" of a low caliber handgun. Those school officials also said the students will not be charged as adults.
That disappoints this parent who did not want to show her face, but said flying bullets have no name.
“I hope Fulton County will try them the way they should be tried. This is not a child's act. This is an adult act,” said one parent.
“They need to be tried as adults because you have over 300, 500 students in this school. You don't care about the safety of your classmates. You could have shot a teacher, that's here to teach my child,” another parent expressed.
“I told my daughter pray and keep it moving. If God is for you, who can be against you,” said one parent who said her daughter, an honor student, was scared to come to school Friday. The mother said she stayed in contact with them through text and picked them up early.
“If parents would be parents to their children instead of friends, maybe this would be a better school,” another parent said.
Many parents who didn't want to be quoted echoed that gang violence was out of hand at the school, but the district said the shooting has nothing to do with gang violence.
Security was tightened at the high school Friday morning, just a day after two students were injured. Students were not allowed to bring bags into the school.
Authorities said they found a low-caliber handgun hidden in a box, but officials don't believe there was any malicious intent. The shooting happened around 3:25 p.m. on Thursday in a 10th-grade classroom, according to a letter directed towards parents. There was a loud pop, and school officials responded.
Fulton County Schools confirmed a female student sustained an injury to her ankle and another student was grazed. Both were treated for minor injuries.
An assistant administrator found a small splattering of blood on the floor and called 911, according to the email. Police officers were called in and the classroom was placed on lockdown.
A statement from Fulton County Schools addressed the ordeal reads:
"At approximately 3:25 p.m., Fulton County Schools police received reports of a loud pop coming from a classroom at Banneker High School. Police discovered a female student had sustained an injury to her ankle and the same bullet had grazed another student. Officers searched the room and found a low caliber handgun hidden in a box belonging to another student in their bookbag. The preliminary investigation indicates this was an accidental discharge of a weapon.
"The injured students are being treated for their minor injuries.
"The investigation into this incident is ongoing and the FCS police department plans to file criminal charges against everyone involved in this incident in accordance with District policy."
"First time hearing about something like this-- it's scary," said concerned parent Cheyenne Blackwell, who said her daughter is afraid to return to school in the morning.
One staff member said concerned parents should ask administrators if all safety protocol regarding bookbags in classrooms had been followed, Thursday, in light of the incident.