Superintendent reacts after shot fired inside Selma High School

Updated: Apr. 2, 2021 at 2:23 PM CDT
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SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - A shooting inside Selma High School Thursday afternoon has prompted major developments within the Selma City Schools district.

Those changes come as two teens arrested after a gun was fired at Selma High School Thursday afternoon went through an initial court hearing in front of Dallas County District Judge Bob Armstrong Friday morning.

Details of the court hearing were not made public due to the suspects’ ages, and the Dallas County district attorney’s office also declined to release any specifics.

What we do know is that the teens, ages 15 and 17, were involved in a fight Thursday before the 15-year-old apparently pulled a gun and fired a single shot. That comes from a statement DA Michael Jackson gave Thursday.

Now, Jackson has two primary questions to answer: How did the student get the gun and how did he get it through the school’s metal detectors?

“They do have security guards at Selma High School,” he stated.

Selma City Schools Superintendent Avis Williams confirmed the gun was fired inside the school’s lunchroom but that no one was injured.

“This wasn’t an empty school,” Jackson explained. “There were people around.” That’s evidenced by video Jackson has released. The cell phone video captured the horror, the fear and the nightmare that unfolded around 1 p.m.

“We are working collaboratively with the Selma Police Department and the mayor’s office to ensure that we address safety within our schools and the community,” Williams said.

She has scheduled a meeting for Monday morning with community leaders to begin looking at what happened, why and potential steps to prevent this from ever happening again.

Meantime, Selma High School goes back to virtual learning on Monday. It had only restarted in-person learning this week.

The decision was made “to give us an opportunity to thoroughly assess what occurred on Thursday and to put measures in place to support our staff, scholars, and families,” the superintendent explained.

There are also plans for a safety audit and professional development for school district leaders to learn about threat assessment, youth mental health, self-care and wellness.

Counseling will be offered to those who need support starting on Monday.

Williams also said other options are being considered like setting up an anonymous hotline, gang prevention and intervention, hiring a social worker and a review and update of the system’s crisis management plan.

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