GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – In the Pitt County Board of Education’s monthly work session, officials shared data about weapons found on their school campuses.
“We have had 63 weapons on campus so far this school year,” said Karen Harrington, the director of student services for Pitt County Schools.
For the 2021-2022 school year, there were 88 total weapons and school officials said they’re on track to match that this year.
This is compared to only 45 that were found during the 2018-2019 school year before the pandemic. School officials said not all of the weapons they find pose a threat.
“The term weapon is very broad,” Harrington said.
Harrington showed in a presentation that 43 of the 63 weapons found have been knives, but they’ve seen pocket knives or kitchen knives in lunch boxes.
“Any knife that we’re aware of on campus has to be reported,” Harrington said. “We might not always discipline that child because they were upfront and said, ‘oh my gosh I forgot this,’ but that is still included in this report.”
PCS officials said they also see tasers and pepper spray.
“We’ve had several situations where parents have gave them those things not for school, but for when they get off the bus. but we have to stress to parents they can’t do that,” she said.
Replica guns have made up four of the weapons on campus this year.
“We have had several students at the elementary school level bring replica guns,” Harrington added. “We consult with law enforcement, even if it just shoots little Nnerf type of things but it appears to be a real pistol.”
As for the other weapons, Pitt County Schools showed there have been BB guns, bullets and blades found on campus.
Pitt County officials said they want parents to be aware of what their students take to school each day.
“We really need to work with our parents in making sure they’re monitoring their kids,” she said.
As for disciplinary action, Pitt County Schools officials said if a student is upfront about their weapon found, there may not be any consequences. But if there is a real threat found by the weapon, they consult with law enforcement and adhere to their school code of conduct.