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Parents have questions, concerns after student brings gun to Shortridge High School

Police at Shortridge High School
Posted at 11:53 PM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-17 23:55:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Shortridge High Schools parents have questions and concerns after their children spent time on lockdown Tuesday. A student brought a gun to school.

RELATED: Student with handgun found on Shortridge High School campus

"Terrified. I was terrified yesterday," Meghann Garcia, a Shortridge High parent, said. "I gave her the biggest hug when she came out of school."

Garcia says the school notified parents about the lockdown after scared students texted their parents.

"My brain went to things are very, very bad. My husband I went up to the school to get our daughter," Garcia said. "There were a lot of parents who were ready to barge into the school. I was one of them."

"I was texting my family. I was really anxious. I really didn't know what was going on," Katie Garcia, who's in 11th grade, said.

Rev. Dr. Charles Harrison, a well known pastor and community activist, shared a video on Twitter expressing his concerns as a parent with two kids at Shortridge High School.

"I think my daughter has been traumatized by the fear of someone having a gun when these kids have seen so many school shootings," Harrison said in a portion of the video.

Harrison hopes this incident will force school leaders to address why a student might believe they need a gun to come to school.

"If kids are bringing guns to school, they're bringing them for a reason. Does a kid feel threatened? Does a kid feel like they're may be a fight and other kids have a gun?" Harrison asked.

Becca McCracken, a Moms Demand Action Indiana volunteer, believes parents need to take an active role in ensuring their kids don't have access to guns.

"As a responsible gun owner, it is an adult's responsibility to protect kids," McCracken said. "If you've made the decision to have a gun in your home, then you need to take the next step to lock it up and prevent access. Secure storage of a gun looks like storing your gun locked, unloaded with ammunition stored separately."

RELATED: Secure Firearm Storage

Although no one was physically hurt at Shortridge High School, McCracken says the impact on students, especially the one who was arrested, is profound.

"I think having this young person have an interaction with law enforcement and the criminal justice system is really harmful," she said.

For families like the Garcias, this incident has them looking for ways to ensure their daughter Katie will be safe as she gets an education.

"We are looking at other schools, other districts and the possibility of being home schooled online through public school," Garcia said.

Shortridge High School called the incident extremely disturbing, one that violates what their community stands for. They started school Wednesday by checking in with students to see how they're holding up.

In June, WRTV Investigates looked into how school districts are using handheld metal detectors meant to find weapons like guns. They were distributed by the state in 2019. Indianapolis Public Schools told us it uses the metal detector wands for random screenings during the school week and at some athletic events.

The state provided schools across the state with a total of about 3,400 metal detectors.