District reacts to safety measures at DeSoto Co. school

Guns were found in backpacks and bullets in a student's sock at one DeSoto County School.

The district is trying to calm nerves after police arrested three teens for having the guns on campus.

Allen Pettis was in the gym when he learned one of his fellow classmates was headed to jail. "They came and got him out of the gym. And he was like man, I'm going to jail. And I was like for what? And he was like cause I had a gun. And I said that ain't cool," explains Pettis.

The day after three teens were arrested for bringing two empty guns and bullets to school, some students at Southaven High feel uneasy about their safety.

"If someone is bringing a gun to school, I don't want to be here," says one student.

Parents who learned about the arrests felt uneasy too. They say they're very concerned.

DeSoto County administrators say they notified police and media then posted the information on the district's website after learning about the guns on campus late in the afternoon

"Kids need to feel safe at school so they can learn in school. And as I said, it's our number one priority," says Kathrine Nelson with DeSoto County Schools.

Nelson says in response to the incident, more police were called in to patrol, and the district sent in extra staffers to help out---including counselors to help students who are feeling anxious or worried that it could happen again.

"Like my mom said, she didn't understand how the guns go in the school anyway. There needs to be something to prevent that," says Andrew Pena.

But district officials vow to do everything they can to keep students safe. "There are consequences if you bring a gun on campus. We're going to deal with you," adds Nelson.

It's a federal crime to have firearms at a school. The students will face a discipline hearing and will likely be expelled for a year.


to email Ursuala Madden.