Lawrence school district announces immediate actions to address gun incidents on campus

photo by: Nick Krug

Lawrence Public Schools district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.

The Lawrence school district announced that it will take some immediate actions in light of two students bringing guns to Lawrence High School within the span of a week — one on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and one on Tuesday.

In an email to media late Tuesday evening, district spokeswoman Julie Boyle said that district and school administrators met to review safety policies, procedures and practices. She also addressed the two most recent incidents.

“While the potential for harm exists anytime a weapon is brought on a school campus, neither of these cases involved a direct threat toward students or staff,” Boyle wrote. “In an effort to quickly inform staff, students, and families of today’s investigation, inaccurate information was shared. Tips led to the discovery and confiscation of a firearm located on a student’s person, not in a book bag.”

In a news release earlier Tuesday, Superintendent Anthony Lewis called for a community meeting to discuss public safety issues. The first meeting, which invites students, staff and parents, is scheduled for 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Lawrence High School cafeteria, 1901 Louisiana St. A second meeting will be scheduled for March at Free State High School.

Boyle wrote that the district has “activated its Crisis Support Team to offer additional counseling at Lawrence High, as needed.” She also wrote that district administrators “will offer an increased positive adult presence at LHS tomorrow during late arrival,” and that they have requested increased police presence at the school this week.

School staff will discuss safety issues with students and identify students who need additional counseling support, she wrote.

Boyle wrote that the district has invited the Be SMART campaign to share gun safety information in conjunction with basketball games on Feb. 19 at LHS. According to its website,, the program from the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund “was created to bring together all responsible adults to reduce suicides and the number of unintentional shootings that occur when children get ahold of an unsecured firearm.”

“Superintendent Anthony Lewis reminds parents to secure any guns kept in the home or vehicles and to secure ammunition in a separate location,” Boyle wrote. “Dr. Lewis encourages parents to discuss gun safety with their students and model responsible behavior around guns.”

More on recent incidents at LHS

Feb. 12, 2019 — Lawrence High student allegedly brings gun to school; incident is second in a week, fifth in district in past year

Feb. 8, 2019 — Criminal charges filed against student who reportedly brought gun to LHS

Feb. 7, 2019 — Lawrence High student acted out in class before staff found gun in his bag, school district says

Feb. 6, 2019 — LHS student brought gun to school, Lawrence school district tells parents

Coverage of other incidents in past year

Sept. 21, 2018 — Student reportedly brings hunting gun to Free State High campus; police investigating

Sept. 14, 2018 — 2 arrested after reported gun sale between students at Lawrence High School

April 9, 2018 — Gun found in backpack at Free State High School; student arrested

Contact Mackenzie Clark

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