ANDERSON, Ind. — Anderson High School and the D26 Career Center will be closed Friday after a 15-year-old student was arrested for a having a loaded handgun in the building.
”It was a loaded weapon, we don’t know if it was chambered or not, but there were bullets in the gun,” said Dr. Joe Cronk, the superintendent of Anderson Community Schools.
The student was arrested Thursday by Anderson Police. A spokesperson for the police department said the student has been booked into a juvenile detention center. The investigation is ongoing.
”We have no reason to believe the student intended to use it, but, again, we don’t know,” Cronk said.
Once the weapon was discovered, Anderson High School was put on lockdown with no one allowed to leave or enter until dismissal at 2:30.
Toni Beatrice is an Anderson High School parent. She said she got an email, call and text about the lockdown and then heard about the gun being found.
”Think goodness they caught him and nobody was injured or hurt,” said Beatrice.
When she first heard about the lockdown she said she felt comfortable and trusted staff would follow protocol. Her concerns grew when she heard a loaded gun was found.
”Absolutely, it’s scary,” she said. “I think in the world we live in today there’s a lot of bad things that happen everywhere, and the last place you want it to happen is at your kid’s school, but it’s possible.”
Cronk said school officials became aware of the possibility of a gun on campus thanks to an observant student who came forward. He said a student reported a social media post appearing to show another student with a gun on school property.
”We started interviewing students that were in that area and we found the student with the weapon and that student was disarmed and detained and arrested by Anderson Police,” Cronk said.
He said this shows how essential it is for students to report anything concerning they see.
”If you see something that you think is going to cause a safety concern then you need to say it so we can interdict and intercept and change outcomes like we did today,” Cronk said.
Anderson High School was already on high alert Thursday because of another threat made against the school for Friday. Cronk said they investigated this one, too.
”It was a student said, a student said, a student heard, kind of a thing,” Cronk said. “We don’t think they’re related.”
Cronk commended Anderson High students and staff. Earlier this week they conducted active threat training, Cronk said they followed the training perfectly.
”The students and the staff who were involved in this need some recognition, positive recognition,” Cronk said.
Beatrice said she’s happy with how the situation was handled and is glad there isn’t school Friday.
”Having a day for everyone to just calm down, for the school to do a thorough cleaning and make sure there are no threats there,” she said. “I think it’s good for the school building, I think it’s good for the administrators and the staff and hopefully they also talk about what they did do right and how they can prevent even the threat from happening again in the future.”
All other Anderson Schools will be open Friday. Anderson High School and the D26 Career Center will return to classes Monday with additional safety and security measures in place.