2 guns, airsoft weapon found in vehicle of Cleveland HS student
February 16, 2018 09:24 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – In a letter distributed to parents of Rio Rancho Public Schools students Friday, school officials said two guns were found when a student's vehicle was searched Feb. 8 – a few days before a former student killed 17 at a Florida high school.
RRPS Superintendent Sue Cleveland wrote that the Cleveland High student hadn't "made any threats towards the school or students," but emphasized that doesn't mean the district isn't taking the situation lightly.
"Tragedies at schools in other states…have heightened everyone's concern for the safety of students," Cleveland wrote in the letter. "We are extremely concerned about this matter. We need your help in addressing the important issue of student safety."
An airsoft weapon was also found in the vehicle, the letter states, before the student was "removed from campus" by police. It's against district policy at RRPS – as well as against New Mexico state law – for any "firearm or dangerous weapon" to be on school property, even if an individual carrying one has a permit.s
In the letter, Cleveland called on parents to keep any guns they may own out of the reach of their children, and to discuss with them how to notice and report suspicious activity.
"We fully investigate all rumors, reports and information concerning threats to our schools," Cleveland writes, adding that those investigations are conducted with Rio Rancho Police.
The incident comes just two months after a shooting at Aztec High School in northwest New Mexico resulted in the deaths of two students. Vague threats of violence also heightened tensions for a time between two Albuquerque-area high schools last month, following a brawl at an athletics match.
Cleveland ended her letter with an invitation to attend an active shooter training specifically tailored for parents on March 6 at Rio Rancho High School, and with a message of unity.
"For our schools to remain safe havens for children, we must all work together – parents, staff, and community members – to provide the quality environment that our children deserve."
Read the full letter by Rio Rancho Public Schools Superintendent Sue Cleveland below:
This letter is to inform you of a recent incident at V. Sue Cleveland High School. During a search of a student’s vehicle last Thursday, two firearms and one airsoft weapon were located. The police were called and the student was removed from campus. The search was not the result of the student having made any threats towards the school or students. However, this does not diminish the level of concern about their existence and potential danger.
Tragedies at schools in other states, such as the recent tragedy in Parkland, FL, have heightened everyone’s concern for the safety of students and I want to assure you that we are taking this very seriously. It is a violation of district policy and state law for any person to carry a firearm or dangerous weapon on school district premises. Even if you, as a parent, have a permit for the weapons, they are not allowed on campus.
We are extremely concerned about this matter. We need your help in addressing the important issue of student safety. Firearms are not something that we as a school district take lightly and we ask that you are diligent in ensuring that your child(ren) do not have access to firearms in your home. In addition, please continue to talk with your child(ren) about the importance of reporting suspicious activities or disturbing information to a trusted adult. We fully investigate all rumors, reports and information concerning threats to our schools. These investigations include the Rio Rancho Police Department.
Student safety continues to be our district’s top priority:
• All of our schools in Rio Rancho have crisis response plans in place that address a full range of emergency situations. We do regular lockdown drills in all of our schools to prepare for all kinds of emergencies, including active shooter situations. We partner with local law enforcement and safety experts.
• Our schools are equipped with interior door locks for use in lockdown and emergency situations. We recently added over 100 additional video cameras and have completed access control at all schools.
• Security cameras are in use at all schools.
Also, we will be holding a district-wide Active Shooter training for parents on Tuesday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Rio Rancho High School. We invite you to attend.
For our schools to remain safe havens for children, we must all work together—parents, staff, and community members—to provide the quality environment that our children deserve. Thank you for being our first line of defense and for your continued support and assistance in keeping our campuses safe for children.
Dr. V. Sue Cleveland,
Superintendent of Schools"
Updated: February 16, 2018 09:24 PM
Created: February 16, 2018 09:07 PM
Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved