Students expelled after gun found at North Forest HS

October 7, 2011 4:17:24 PM PDT
Two sophomores in North Forest High School have been expelled after a gun was discovered in a classroom. The discovery came Friday afternoon, hours after the school was initially put on lockdown. The school district has also filed charges of bringing an illegal weapon to school against the student who allegedly brought the gun to school.

The incident began Friday morning. Shortly before 11am, reports surfaced that a student had brought a gun to school. The entire school was put on lockdown, and the Houston Police Department SWAT team responded.

Across the street from the locked down campus, parents waited anxiously for news.

"(I've) got to take my kid out of here," said Wanda Davenport, who has a daughter at North Forest High School. "It's just ridiculous."

Law enforcement officials combed the school for several hours. But by lunchtime, there was still no gun found, so the lockdown was lifted.

"The shelter-in-place has been lifted and classes are resuming," explained Assistant Superintendent Johnny O'Connor.

O'Conner read a brief statement, but he wouldn't answer any reporter questions. Instead, he walked away from ABC13 and other reporters when we questioned him about the incident.

The lack of information is one reason parents and grandparents say they feel there are overall safety concerns at the high school.

"The kids need their education," said Jeanie Lee, who has two grandchildren at North Forest High School. "Now, the kids are going to be afraid to come to school, they're not going to be able to concentrate on their work."

It wasn't until just before 4pm that school officials explained what had happened. According to NFISD, the student who allegedly had the gun was taken out of class and questioned. NFISD officials say he didn't have a gun with him at the time. Subsequently, a later tip from another student revealed he had given the gun to a friend to hide. Officials were then able to locate the gun in a classroom. Nobody was hurt.

Although classes resumed, many parents chose to take their kids out of school for the rest of the day. That included Davenport, who couldn't wait to get her daughter Jamesesa Johnson out of class. The sophomore isn't anxious to return to class at NFHS, either.

"No, because it's dangerous," Johnson said. "They (aren't) even teaching (anything)."

Davenport says she plans to withdraw her daughter from NFISD next week.

"It's going to be real hard to get her into another school," she said. "But, I'm going to do my darnedest to get her out of here because this is ridiculous."

Classes are not scheduled for Monday, but will resume as planned on Tuesday at the high school.

The student with the gun and the one who hid it will both be expelled to the Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program (JJAEP). Both students are sophomores. The Harris County District Attorney has accepted a charge of bringing an illegal weapon to a school against the student who brought the gun to the campus.


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