Rome City Schools institutes more safety measures after two firearm discoveries in first week of classes

A northwest Georgia school district is instituting safety measures after two guns were found on two students within the first week of classes at a high school.

Rome City Schools implemented a "flexible learning day" Friday when the Board of Education held an emergency meeting Friday to address the concerns of Rome High School parents. 

Rome police said sophomores students were found in possession of two stolen, loaded handguns. Police said a gun was found in a backpack by an administrator on Wednesday and a tip led to the discovery of the second gun on Thursday.

The assistant chief of the Rome Police Department said, in both cases, neither of the weapons were displayed to other students or used threateningly.

Interim Superintendent Dawn Williams briefed the Board of Education on security issues and announced several new protocols that will take effect Monday:

  • The high school limit students to two entrances into the school during drop-off time. Tardy students and students with off-campus class or work experiences enter only through the front door. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. each morning.
  • Students must carry all jackets, hoodies or any "outer-layer" clothing for examination.
  • The school will search students' bags.
  • The school will be staffed by additional Rome Police Department officers during drop-off time searches. There will also be K-9 officers at the school.
  • Students will receive and be required to wear ID badges.

The district plans to research and implement weapon detection systems.

"The safety and security of faculty, staff, and students is of utmost importance," Williams said in a statement. "Hiring security officers may be necessary until we can fully implement all of our recommendations, and RCS appreciates the partnership with the Rome Police Department as we move forward with our planning for these upgrades to our current safety and security plan."