The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

March 5, 2013

ACS continues work on safety after Highland incident

ANDERSON, Ind. — In light of a student being arrested after bringing an unloaded gun to school, Anderson Community Schools wants to reassure parents that the district is continuously working to improve security.

Months after the Newtown, Conn., shooting in December, ACS is still proposing security measurement changes, Superintendent Felix Chow said.

Anderson police arrested Highland Middle School student Anthony J. Stewart, 16, on Monday after he allegedly threatened a fellow student with the unloaded handgun.

Stewart’s probation officer and the Madison County prosecutor’s office waived the teen on to adult court.

Chow said the incident showed that the district’s current safety procedures are working. The security officer who detained Stewart had been hired by Highland and gotten school officials involved immediately.

“We have an environment of teamwork not only within the school district personnel and students, but also with external partners, such as the Anderson Police Department, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the prosecutor’s office,” Chow wrote in a communique to the community.

Suzanne Lewis, the parent of a student at Highland, said she had received multiple automated messages about the incident Monday afternoon.

“Just with everything going on nowadays,” she said in an earlier Herald Bulletin interview, the school should really look into further security measures such as metal detectors.

It was a scary situation, she said, that could have been a lot worse.

Chow said it’s about balancing “the need for safety with the degree of freedom” and not making school feel like prison.

Anderson Police Department spokesman Detective Joel Sandefur said they’re still unsure where Stewart got the weapon as he is “not talking.” Police are also speaking to additional witnesses.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

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