Brockton Schools Up Security Measures After Student Brings Gun to School

Brockton Public Schools are increasing security measures following the arrest of a high school student who reportedly brought a gun to school

A Brockton police officer outside Brockton High School, where a student brought a gun to school on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
NBC10 Boston

Brockton Public Schools are increasing security measures following the arrest of a high school student who brought a gun to school, the district announced Saturday.

Beginning Tuesday, student are expected to see additional police officers, including at building entrances. The officers are expected to stay on site for the entire school day.

Students will also have designated doors they will use to enter their respective buildings, the district said Saturday.

It is also working with the Brockton Police Department to find the most efficient ways to use hand-held metal detectors at the entrances.

"We will devise a plan to determine how long to keep enhanced security measures in place or set a time to reassess the enhanced measures," the district said.

A student brought a gun to Brockton High School, a scary situation for parents and students but one that was resolved peacefully.

These measures come after a Brockton High School student was arrested on Friday for allegedly bringing a gun to school.

No staff or students were threatened, according to a statement from the Brockton Public Schools. The high school was put on a roughly 90-minute lockdown out of caution while the school was swept, and students were eventually dismissed early.

Mayor Robert Sullivan and Superintendent Michael Thomas told reporters that other students heard about the gun and reported it to a teacher, which led to the student being escorted to an office. The gun was found in a bag.

"The mantra is, 'If you see something, say something,' and two students did just exactly that," Sullivan said.

Asked if the incident was disturbing, Thomas said, "Of course it's disturbing, and nobody wants a gun in their school, especially a school where there's over 5,000 people that come into it every day, but again, we train for these moments and I'm proud of how it was handled."

After a student was arrested with a gun at Brockton High School, Brockton Public Schools Superintendent Michael Thomas discussed the emotional strain on children just returning to classes amid the pandemic and how administrators need to support them.

The student was arrested, according to school officials. It wasn't immediately clear if they would be charged.

Asked why investigators believe the student brought the gun to the school, Thomas said he didn't know, and that remains under investigation.

Brockton High School, with over 4,300 students, doesn't have metal detectors, Thomas said. It would take the rest of the day to sweep all the school's facilities.

It's had incidents involving weapons in the past, but Thomas noted that it's also important for administrators to take care its students.

"There's a fine line between having a school and ... a prison," he said, after repeatedly emphasizing that staff and students train for scenarios like the one that played out Friday.

The incident came less than a day after a shooting and standoff in Brockton left a man dead and a police officer wounded, while the man suspected of shooting the officer killed himself.

The Brockton police officer who was shot Thursday night has been released from the hospital and his alleged shooter has been identified.

That incident didn't play into Thomas' decision to dismiss school early, Thomas said. Instead, his experience with prior incidents, and parents wanting their students to come home, was more of a factor.

But he also noted the strain on students in Brockton and nationwide, as they adjust to a world that's dealing with a pandemic on top of concerns about gun violence.

"Coming back from COVID, they've been out of school for almost two years, and our kids are dealing with a lot. And there's been a lot of conflict, and we've put extra adjustment counselors on staff. Teachers and staff are dealing with a lot trying to support our students," Thomas said.

Parents raced to pick up students.

"Just all the shootings in general — very nerve-wracking. I think I did 90 coming here," said Stephanie Castillo.

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