Fayette County Schools
Frederick Douglass High School, Lexington, Ky.

Student at Kentucky high injured after accidentally shooting himself with gun he brought to school

March 10, 2018
16-year-old freshman at school in Lexington receives treatment for thumb injury and is charged with endangerment.

A student accidentally shot himself Friday morning in a classroom of a Lexington, Ky., high school with a gun he brought to school.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the student, a 16-year-old freshman, sustained an injury on his left hand in the incident at Frederick Douglass High School. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. No others were injured.

The student has been charged with wanton endangerment and possession of a weapon on school property, police say.

After the shooting, Fayette County (Ky.) Superintendent Manny Caulk said stationary metal detectors will be installed in the school, and all students will enter through them. Hand-held wands are used now, but only when school personnel have a reason to suspect a problem.

“We will do everything we can to make students feel safe and keep our teachers and staff safe in this building as well,” Caulk says.

Friday’s shooting occurred despite already stepped up safety precautions at Fayette County schools. A gun was found last week on a student at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, and increased school threats occurred in the aftermath of a high school shooting in Western Kentucky in January that killed two students and left 14 others with gunshot wounds.

A student at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington was recently removed from school and charged with terroristic threatening after a tip that he was talking about shooting up the school. A rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition were found.

Counselors arrived at the school within 30 minutes of Friday's shooting to help students, and parents began to arrive to take students home.

Prior to the shooting, school district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said all middle and high schools have multiple metal detector wands, and each school has established protocols for when they will be used.

At some Fayette schools all visitors and students who enter after the first bell are screened with the metal detector wands, and at other schools, students who return to campus after leaving are screened.

Every high school has increased the circulation of administrators and law enforcement officers to ensure that exterior doors remain securely locked at all times. Law enforcement surveillance also includes checking parking lots and walking the campus perimeter, Deffendall previously said.

In addition, faculty and staff at Douglass are now required to wear badges at all times.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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