Third gun found at Tates Creek High in less than two weeks

Published: Nov. 14, 2016 at 12:11 PM EST
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Fayette County School officials confirm they have found a third gun at Lexington's Tates Creek High School.

School law enforcement arrested a student on Monday morning for having a loaded gun on campus.

A Lexington Police officer picked up a student in a neighborhood for truancy and brought him to Tates Creek. School law enforcement personnel searched the student when he arrived and found the gun.

Police charged the student with possession of a weapon on school property.

Principal Sam Meaux says officers found the gun on Monday as a result of a change in practices based on an


Principal Meaux says this is the first time in his 27 years at Tates Creek that he's had to deal with this issue. "I've seen the neighborhood change. It is not the same neighborhood that is was 27 years ago and with the change it has brought about a different set of issues and a different set of priorities," he said.

School leaders feel in each incident the student did not have the gun because they felt unsafe at school but because of issues out in their community.

The superintendent has asked school leaders and district law enforcement officers to develop a policy implementing random metal detector checks at the high schools.

The principal is inviting families and community members to attend a forum on Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. in the high school library to address concerns.

November 14, 2016

Dear Tates Creek High School Families:

I want to begin by assuring you that all of our students are safe and there is no threat at Tates Creek High School. I’m saddened to share that I am writing today to make you aware that our law enforcement officers have arrested one of our students for having a gun on campus.

This morning, the Lexington Police Department picked up a student in neighborhood for truancy and brought him to campus. Our law enforcement officers searched the student when he arrived at school and found a gun. He was charged with possession of a weapon on school property and will also face serious administrative consequences through the school district.

I know this is disturbing. I am just as upset as you are.  But I hope you see that we found the weapon today because our school responded to last week’s incident by making a change in practice.  Our Fayette County Department of Law Enforcement does an amazing job of safeguarding our schools and working with us to ensure the safety of our students.

I’ve been principal at Tates Creek High School for more than a decade and this is not emblematic of our school.  Tates Creek is a caring and safe community
and although we have had three guns on our campus in the past 12 days, none of the students had any intent of using the weapons at school.

Schools are microcosms of the neighborhoods that we serve and solving the proliferation of weapons in our community will require a broader commitment from families and other partners.

We are in close communication with district leaders and the Lexington Police Department about this situation. Our partnership with the Lexington Police Department is critical to an overall effort for safety in our schools. In addition to the protocol we have already instituted of searching any student that the Lexington Police Department brings to campus, we are also considering the implementation of random metal detector checks for all students.

Please mark your calendars for a meeting for families and community partners on Wednesday, November 16th at 6:00 p.m. to discuss this situation and how we come together to address some of the concerning community issues with which TCHS is dealing. As always, please don’t hesitate to call me with questions or concerns.


Sam Meaux