Second gun at Lanier prompts changes

Sidney Lanier High School
Sidney Lanier High School

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Students at Montgomery's Sidney Lanier High School are in for some changes once they return from Thanksgiving break. They'll have to conform to new security measures after a second gun was found on campus last week.

The suspect who brought the weapon on campus was not a Lanier student according to authorities. A teacher suspected the 15-year-old, who was not identified, had a gun in a bathroom. After padding the youth down, the teacher found a .38 caliber handgun.

The boy ran but police were able to catch him. He's now in the Montgomery County Youth Facility on illegal possession of a weapon on a school campus charges.

School spokesman Tom Salter says in addition to new safety procedures, more security officers will be in place next week.

"We want parents to know we are focused on safety," said MPS Superintendent Barbara Thompson. "I met with the principal and our chief of security and we've mapped out a series of steps that will go into effect immediately. We will not tolerate trespassers or students that endanger others on our campuses."

At least eight changes are being made to make the school grounds safer.

Those entering campus will only be allowed to use the front door to the school.

  • Extra security personnel will be assigned to Lanier.
  • A walk-through metal detector will be installed and used to screen students and visitors.
  • Additional radios will be purchased and given to school personnel to ensure proper communication.
  • The school's policy that all students must wear their photo IDs while on campus will be strictly enforced.
  • Common areas and bathrooms will be checked frequently.
  • Additional random searches of the school and students will be conducted
  • Any students found in the hallways during classes must have permission to be out of class.

"We are a large urban school system," said Thompson. "With 32,000 students and 5,000 employees, that population would make us the 12th largest city in the state. MPS continues to work with city and county law enforcement agencies to not only make our schools safer, but to address criminal activity in the community. We are moving aggressively to make our campuses as safe as possible."

School leaders say the changes at Lanier will also be considered at other schools in the system.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.