Parents demand answers after two students found with weapons in Maplewood schools

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Lucy Yang reports from Maplewood, New Jersey. (WABC)

Parents are demanding answers from school officials in New Jersey after two students were found with weapons last week in Maplewood.

In both cases, the school learned of the guns from other students who did the right thing: who told authorities as soon as they learned of the weapons.

That was highlighted as administrators thanked the children for speaking up.

Guns and knives in school, it's not what parents expect to your inquiry at Maplewood, New Jersey. But two frightening incidents in two schools last week prompted the community to pack the middle school Monday night.

"We regret as a school and as an administrative team the choices that a very small number of students made last week that so negatively impacted so many of us," said Elizabeth Aaron, Columbia High School Principal.

Last Wednesday, the middle school went into code red one was learned a seventh grader have bought a gun to school. Thankfully he did not fire the weapon. No one was injured.

Then the next day, police were called to Columbia High School, also in Maplewood, where they arrested a 15-year-old boy in ninth grade we're told he was caught with an airsoft gun and kitchen style knife. That prompted the high school to go into a code yellow. Again, Maplewood was spared a potentially horrible tragedy.

"We are all very grateful that the security procedures we have practiced all year worked exactly as they were designed to do and that no one was harmed in either incident," said James Memoli, the Acting Superintendent.

Monday night, parents and students brought up bigger, deeper issues like race disparity, bullying, violence and easy gun access. They are all tough topics with no simple answers.

"We need a support system that is clearly lacking," a student said.

"We are dealing with children with issues that we have no idea what's going on, we don't know what those issues are," a parent said.

Parents were assured at the meeting that both boys who brought guns to school last week will not be coming back next year.

Related Topics:
educationstudent safetystudent arrestedgun violenceschool threatMaplewood
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