Here’s why Rockbridge County High School didn’t have a lockdown after a gun was found in a student’s backpack

The school’s principal explains the reason for that decision

Officials are taking action after a gun and an Anti-Semitic picture were found at Rockbridge County High School.

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. – Rockbridge County High School increased security Friday after a student brought a firearm to school and suspended two students after an anti-Semitic act earlier this week.

The two involved in the anti-semitic act on Wednesday are suspended, while one student is sitting in a juvenile detention center facing a felony charge for bringing a firearm to school on Thursday.

[Parents outraged over anti-Semitic image, gun found at Rockbridge County High School]

Rockbridge County High School Principal Dr. Michael Craft said more deputies were at the school on Friday morning as all students assembled to talk about what he called two “unacceptable incidents” this week.

First, on Wednesday, an image of two students displaying Swastikas and doing a Nazi salute was spreading. Craft said a third student took the photo and posted it on social media.

The two students are suspended. The school is still determining how long those suspensions will be as it waits for the school board’s final recommendation.

On Thursday afternoon, a school resource officer pulled a student out of class after being told the student brought a firearm to school. That student was taken to the principal’s office and a 9 mm pistol, as well as ammunition, were discovered in the student’s book bag, according to Craft.

The school was never placed on lockdown because the officer was only 50 feet away from the student.

“We could have gotten to the student much faster than we could have done a lockdown,” said Craft. “So it only made sense to go straight to the student and take control of the situation.”

He also said that the student brought the gun from home and did not have any intention to cause harm.

The student was taken to a juvenile detention center and is charged with a felony for bringing a firearm on school property.

During assemblies on Friday, Craft told students how appalled the school was by these actions.

“It was a very rough situation for us to deal with because it does bring up a lot of emotions,” he explained.

Craft said he understands the community’s concerns about these incidents but encourages students to speak up so they can address these hurtful acts.

“There is no way to defend what they did,” he said. “It was totally inappropriate. But we will use this to make ourselves a better school.”

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Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.