DIGGING DEEPER: A gun was brought on to FWCS property three times in less than two weeks

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Three times in less than two weeks, a gun has been brought on Fort Wayne Community School’s property. How are parents feeling? How are district leaders responding?

Honor Lothamer is a parent of a freshman special needs student at North Side High School. Monday, she received a voicemail from school leaders informing her a student brought a gun into the school. It was confiscated by police. She says when she received the call, her heart sank.

“This is every parent’s worst nightmare,” she said. “I felt like I couldn’t breathe, it was scary.”

Lothamer’s son, Joe, has down syndrome. She says luckily he didn’t react to the situation too much.

“He’s just so pure and innocent, I don’t even know that he would grasp that concept,” she said. “I just wish there were more safety precautions in the first place.”

Lothamer says she was hoping the voicemail would provide more information, she says it felt like it was very vague. However, she says she’s not sure there would have been a better way to respond anyways. She wants more preventive measures in the first place, such as metal detectors or lock downs.

“School shootings are just so prevalent now, I fully believe there should be metal detectors on those doors and schools should be locked down,” Lothamer said. “I tried to find Fort Wayne community schools code of conduct but I don’t know.”

The voicemail says FWCS will be referring to their “code of conduct” moving forward. Lothamer says she wanted to know what exactly that meant, but she wasn’t able to find specific details.

Our ABC21 Digging Deeper team reached out to officials at FWCS for the answer to that question among other concerns from parents. On our social media pages, people have questioned why there wasn’t a lockdown at these schools or a more done.

" We need to make sure first that school is secure and the students and staff are safe,” FWCS spokesperson Krista Stockman said. “If there was a situation where students were actually in danger we would communicate with parents and provide them the information they need.”

Stockman says they are shaken up after the three instances this week and are looking at the issue. She says, parents should know if there was an active shooter situation, their protocol would be much different.

“A lock down would happen if there’s an active threat in this school building,” she said. “So in a case where a student found a gun - they are not in active danger at that point.”

Stockman says each school decides how to handle the student responsible for bringing the gun into the school in these incidents.