Local 2 investigates weapons found at schools

Author: Robert Arnold, Investigative Reporter, rarnold@kprc.com
Published On: Aug 17 2012 04:30:04 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 17 2012 11:27:15 PM CDT
HOUSTON -

Guns, knives and brass knuckles. Those are items no one ever wants to be found in a school classroom. However, Local 2 Investigates has discovered hundreds of weapons are being found on school campuses across the Houston area.

"Our biggest eyes and ears are the students and staff that works here," said Robert Mock, the Houston Independent School District's assistant police chief.

According to records obtained by Local 2, HISD police officers and employees have helped find and seize 219 weapons from school campuses during the last five school years.

"If we get a credible tip, credible information about a weapon, we have a K-9 unit that we bring into the school," said Mock.

Mock showed Local 2 a display of some of the weapons seized at campuses over the years. The display includes pistols, daggers, brass knuckles and homemade weapons crafted from household knives. Local 2 also saw two ballpoint pens that were fashioned to conceal small, sharp blades. HISD's display also included plastic toy guns and knives that look real enough to terrify students.

"We just need to make sure we educate our students on what is appropriate and what is not appropriate," said Mock.

Local 2 also checked the records for five other school districts during the same five-year time period. School records from Cypress-Fairbanks ISD show 98 weapons found, Aldine ISD reported 59 weapons, Katy ISD reported 32, Alief ISD showed 30 and Fort Bend ISD reported 29 weapons. All of these school district records also showed the number of weapons found each year appears to be dropping.

Every school district allows students to report weapons on campus anonymously, has police officers dedicated to watching out for weapons and specific plans to respond to this type of emergency. Mock also said not every weapon found was brought to school with evil intent and sometimes a student just wants to show off in front of friends.

"(Parents) need to be aware of what their kids are doing, where they are going, talk to them," said Mock.

Mock said every time a weapon is found, officers try to find out the reason as to why a student felt the need to bring it to school to determine if there is a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.