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Student representative says Waynesboro kids are concerned about safety at school

December 12, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro Area Senior High School students have concerns about safety, according to one of their representatives to the school board.

Chad Reichard said the concerns were brought to him recently by several students, who also said they were frustrated by recent incidents.

Waynesboro police announced Tuesday that a 15-year-old boy had two pellet guns at school on Monday. They previously said that a 14-year-old girl had been found with a knife last Thursday.

Both were charged through the Franklin County Juvenile Probation Department.

"Any time a student gets in a fight or brings a weapon to school, they will be charged and brought before the school board for expulsion," Assistant Superintendent Gloria Walker said.

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The school board hosted a discipline meeting Tuesday night, but does not discuss student adjudication publicly.

Police said the 15-year-old boy claimed he was holding the pellet gun for a friend when found Monday at 10:30 a.m. He would not provide that friend's name, police said, and another pellet gun was found in a coat hanging in his locker.

Administrators will be having meetings soon to discuss proactive ways to keep weapons out of school, Walker said.

Also, between 30 and 50 student leaders from the middle and high schools will be identified in late January as part of "Rachel's Challenge." The assembly will be led by the sister of the first person killed at Columbine High School in April 1999, she said.

Walker said there could be several reasons why incidents of this nature occur in cycles. She said those reasons include copycats, violence in video games and what students have seen in the media lately.

"Oftentimes, (the coverage) is sensationalized" and give children ideas, Walker said.

"I'm more than willing to help in any way as a student leader," Reichard told the school board.

In October, two Waynesboro Area Middle School students were involved in a fight that resulted in one being stabbed. That child was treated at Waynesboro Hospital and released.

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