Parents in Central Indiana, Indianapolis concerned about guns and threats in schools

ANDERSON, Indiana — Some parents are nervous after threats or guns were found in several central Indiana schools this week.

On Tuesday, a 17-year-old student at Southport High School was arrested for having a gun and knife at school.

Brownsburg’s parents were concerned on Friday when a text that appeared to be from the school system began circulating on social media. The fake text spoke of a threat against Brownsburg High School.

A 15-year-old student was arrested Thursday at Anderson High School for having a loaded handgun. In addition, a separate threat was issued against Anderson High School for Friday.

School officials decided to cancel school for Anderson High Friday as a precaution. Other Anderson Community Schools remained open Friday, worrying some parents.

“If guns are taken to one school, there’s a chance they can be taken to the other schools,” Marie Dyke said.

Dyke, the mother of a daughter at Highland Middle School and a son at Anderson High School, said her daughter heard threats just an hour after school started.

“It was quite a stressful situation, I asked her several times throughout the day, ‘Are you okay?’ She said, “Yeah, everyone’s really scared we’re going to get shot,” Dyke said.

Anderson Community Schools implemented additional safety measures at all schools on Friday. A spokesman said he was not aware of any threats against Highland Middle School on Friday.

Dyke said she wanted more safety measures at the school.

“There must be some kind of metal detector in the school,” Dyke said.

In Brownsburg, some parents came to pick up their students after seeing a text that appeared to be from the school circulating on social media discussing a threat to Brownsburg High School.

A school boy confirmed that the text was fake. The spokesman added a threat was made on Thursday that officials determined they lacked credibility.

Southport High School released a statement saying the student arrested there Tuesday for bringing a knife and gun has been suspended and authorities are pursuing criminal charges.

Diane Reis, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the IU School of Medicine, said incidents and threats like these make it difficult for children to focus in school.

“It wouldn’t be at all surprising if kids had trouble observing and retaining the content they’re trying to learn these days,” Reis said.

Anderson High School will provide counselors to students when they return to class on Monday.

Reis said it’s a good way to allow students who are struggling to reflect on what happened and learn from it.

“And help them if they need to learn some techniques to deal with it in the immediate sense,” Reis said.

A thorough search was conducted at Anderson High School on Friday after the student was arrested on Thursday. School officials said no firearms, ammunition or other weapons were found.

Officials at the Brownsburg School released a full statement on the rumors of threats at the high school.

Late in the afternoon, a Brownsburg High School student made a threat that was determined Not credible after detailed investigation completed later that same evening. Parents and staff were informed this morning that the threat was not credible. Unfortunately, rumors on social media featured the name of a student who was not the student who made the threat, leading some to believe the threat was valid. It was not. Additionally, other social media posts reflected that the situation affected multiple students, which is also incorrect. We just learned that a text sent to some parents and posted on social media appeared to be from Brownsburg High School in error sharing even more incorrect and confusing information about this situation. Please note that students are safe and additional officers are on site at Brownsburg High School to help calm the situation. If you are a high school parent and still wish to pick up your student from BHS, please be patient as the pickup process is currently stretched. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Brownsburg school officials

Perry Township Schools also released a statement Tuesday about the arrest at Southport High School:

During class yesterday, Southport High School staff found three students in the restroom while randomly searching the premises daily. Per school policy, staff searched the students and found a gun in one of the students’ backpacks. The staff immediately contacted the Perry Township Schools police. Officers took the student into custody without incident.

The school administration suspended the student and is now pursuing expulsion under the Student Success Handbook. In addition, the authorities are moving forward with criminal charges. This is an active investigation and further details are not available at this time.

Perry Township Schools will not tolerate any behavior that affects the safety of our students and staff. Anyone violating the district school safety policy will be penalized according to the Student Success Handbook.

Perry Township Schools