BRUNSWICK COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Some Brunswick County parents are asking for answers after finding out a student brought a gun to Brunswick High School on Wednesday.
The student was found with the gun just after 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27. According to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, the student was detained and the gun was secured.
Parents questioned Brunswick High School Principal Ronald Thornhill that afternoon, asking him about why it took so long for them to be notified about the gun.
Rodney Gilliam, the parent of a Brunswick High School student, said he first heard about the gun when his oldest son called him about a social media post which mentioned a gun being found at the school.
Gilliam said he immediately tried to call the school, but no one picked up the phone initially. After a few tries, someone answered the phone and confirmed the news to him.
“There was some opportunities there, where they could have at least put out a robo-call, and then at least have somebody in the office that can answer the phone to kind of give us a peace of mind to what’s going on.”
Gilliam said he did eventually receive that robo-call from the school district, but not until around 1:52 p.m. — hours after the gun was first found. Thornhill also sent a letter to parents about the situation.
“I am writing to provide an update on an incident that occurred on the Brunswick High School campus this morning. A student was found to be in possession of a weapon on campus,” said Thornhill in the letter. “No one was hurt during the incident. However we take the situation very seriously and the appropriate disciplinary action will be taken, per school division policy.”
The letter said that the student “will not be allowed on school property moving forward” and that after the gun was found, all students were “checked for potential weapons.”
8News reached out to the school district to ask for more information about the incident. Brunswick County Public School Superintendent Dr. Kristy Somerville-Midgette responded by forwarding the letter, saying it was “the only information we have to share at this time.”
When Thornhill spoke with parents Wednesday afternoon, he explained why it took so long for the school district to notify parents.
“What I wanted to do was clear both buildings. Sweep both buildings and make sure that we check everybody, check every situation and then send the letter out,” said Thornhill. “In the future, we will continue to look at how we’re handling situations to make sure that you’re at ease.”
Gilliam said he just hopes things change before it’s too late.
“You’ve got to pray for that hedge of protection around your kids when they leave and get on that bus,” said Gilliam. “And you can’t ever take anything for granted.”