RPS reviewing safety procedures after John Marshall gun incident - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

RPS reviewing safety procedures after John Marshall gun incident


Richmond Public Schools announced swift changes to its safety and security procedures after a gun was used in a fight at John Marshall High School Friday.

Danzall Seward, 18, was arrested after police say he pulled out a gun during a fight before class. There were no shots fired and no one was injured. Seward does not attend John Marshall, but takes the bus from the school to Richmond's Performance Learning Center.

The school district is still investigating how the gun made its way onto the campus, but a review is underway.

"Our first priority is keeping kids safe," said Richmond School Board Chair Jeff Bourne. "So we need to get creative and start aggressively tackling this.

Currently, students don't have to go through metal detectors during bad weather. Instead, students are brought indoors and random classroom searches are conducted. This security procedure will change, according to school officials.

"We will be conducting a comprehensive review district-wide to determine ways we can maintain the safety of our students while protecting the integrity of class time and decreasing our students' exposure to extreme weather conditions," said Dr. Yvonne Brandon, Superintendent, Richmond Public Schools.

The Richmond School Board will be review safety and security needs, possibly as soon as at its next meeting.

"While we were fortunate that no serious injuries occurred today, there are definitely some areas of concern with our procedures that have to be addressed," said Jeffrey Bourne, Chairman, Richmond City School Board. "As we continue to modify the 2013-14 school budget, now is the time for the district to look at our safety and security needs to see if additional funding is required to ensure the continued well-being of our students and staff"

In addition, John Marshall will hold a parental meeting on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to discuss Friday's incident.

"I commend the staff and students here at John Marshall as we worked together to get back to the business of learning as quickly as possible. Our staff followed proper procedures and our students handled themselves appropriately," said Beverly Britt, Principal, John Marshall High School. "We look forward to having a discussion with our parents on ways we can work together to prevent such incidents from happening again."

Both students arrested in Friday's fight will be appropriately disciplined pending a panel review, according to school officials.

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