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Hopewell student charged with bringing gun to school

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 5:32 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2021 at 11:28 PM EST
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HOPEWELL, Va. (WWBT) - For the third time this school year, a student showed up at Hopewell High school with a gun, and this time, it was loaded with a round in the magazine.

Within the past couple of weeks, school leaders rolled out metal detectors to get a handle on the problem. The metal detectors were recently installed in an effort to bolster security and safety at the district’s schools.

On Tuesday, however, a student thought he was bypassing that new security measure, only to be caught by a teacher with a watchful eye.

Authorities say the student hid the gun in his jacket, took the coat off, and left it outside so he could walk through the metal detector. That’s when he tried to go back to get the jacket with the gun inside.

“It saddens me beyond words to respond once again to potential threats and violations related to the safety and security of our schools,” the superintendent wrote on Facebook.

“I was raised that if you do wrong, it has consequences,” said N. Woody of Hopewell.

The student told authorities that he was holding for someone in his neighborhood. He now faces criminal charges, including underage possession of a weapon and having a gun on school grounds.

Hopewell Schools is planning a school security forum next month to hear from the public about what can be done to improve safety inside school buildings. A council member says it has been done before, referencing a community crime meeting in 2019.

“The biggest thing they said was we need to do more for our youth… and I’ve asked for council to go back to that plan and take that feedback from residents to figure out what can we implement, what can we support…Hopefully, I’ll get support from council to re-visit that to not only show the community we heard them but also to take steps needed,” Jasmine Gore said.

The school system is now identifying steps it plans to take after reintroducing metal detectors after the Thanksgiving break.

Wednesday, there will be a stepped-up police presence, including having officers inside the school to monitor hallways and entrances. That will last through the end of the week. The superintendent says another safety measure will be mandatory ID badges come January.

No one was hurt in Tuesday’s incident.

The school security forum will happen on Jan. 13 at Hopewell High at 5:30 p.m.

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