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Indy safety leader: Students often carry guns for protection

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s illegal to bring any form of weapon to school, but students are still doing it.

Two students were arrested Tuesday after guns were found in their backpacks.

Last week, a 16-year-old student was arrested after gun was found Thursday in the pupil’s backpack.

A concerned parent said he’s seeing students carrying guns more frequently than when he was in school.

“I remember in those four years maybe once or twice a kid would bring his dad’s gun to school and get in trouble and get suspended, but it definitely wasn’t three kids in the first week of school,” said parent Scott Harris.

“I definitely think that there’s an atmosphere about guns and gun control that is causing children to think that this is the next new cool thing,” Harris said.

Robert Fry with the Marion County Office of Public Health and Safety said they often find kids bringing weapons to school for protection.

“Sometimes it’s because of the neighborhood they’re from, sometimes it’s the commute to school and they’re afraid something may happen,” he said. “We had an incident where a teenager was shot on his way to the bus stop, so when teenagers find out about that they feel they need to carry on the way to the bus stop or on their way to school.”

The gun found at Lawrence Central High School was loaded: one bullet in the chamber and 10 in the magazine, according to court documents.

The Wayne Township Schools superintendent said the gun found in the backpack of a student at Ben Davis High School was not loaded.

Washington Township Schools did not tell parents whether the gun found at North Central High School was loaded.

Superintendents from all three districts notified parents and encouraged them to speak with their children about school safety and the importance of reporting any suspicious activity.

A group seeking the creation of sensible gun legislation, Moms Demand Action, says it’s also imperative to keep weapons and ammunition locked away properly.

Moms Demand Action member Crystal Paschal said, “Eighty percent of cases involving guns at schools come from the home of the person that brought the gun to school or the home of someone that child knows. Safe storage is really one of the biggest things that parents can do to keep kids safe and keep guns out of schools.”