PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth Police say I.C. Norcom High School was put on lockdown after a student tried to enter the school with a loaded gun Monday afternoon.
According to police, the call for the incident came in around 1:30 p.m. Monday. The student was immediately taken into custody and the school was put in a brief lockdown.
The gun was discovered by security officials at the school.
Dr. Laguna Foster, Principal of I.C. Norcom, released a statement regarding the incident below.
Good afternoon, Norcom families – This is Dr. Foster with an important update about our school’s safety. This afternoon, at roughly 1:30 p.m., a student tried to enter our building with a loaded gun. Thanks to the security measures in place at our school, the student was denied entry, immediately detained and now in custody with the Portsmouth Police Department. Weapons, of any kind, are not allowed on school campuses, and not only will those responsible for bringing any weapon to school be disciplined here, they will also face criminal charges. Parents, please help us share this message with your children, and remind them of the important role we all play in keeping our schools safe. As always, I thank you for your support of I.C. Norcom High School.Dr. Laguna Foster, I.C. Norcom High School Principal
The Portsmouth School Board chairman posted on social media Monday evening in response to the incident at I.C. Norcom.
Chairman Cardell Patillo said the division has taken additional precautions now to address the increase in violence. On Monday, all schools used metal detectors to screen students while they’re in school buildings. The division will also increase the manual screenings, including random checks in school buildings.
Patillo said he plans to present a policy that would require clear backpacks in high schools. The backpacks would be paid for by the school division with no additional cost to parents. The action would need to be approved by the majority of the school board.
Special Update !!!!
Please Share !!!!!
As Chairman of the Portsmouth School Board, my heart has been broken over the increase in violence within our communities. At this moment, Portsmouth is in a peculiar and pivotal place that will determine the course of our future. Gun violence continues to plague our streets and has devastated the families of several of our Portsmouth students.
Just this afternoon, we were made aware that a student tried to enter one of our high schools with a loaded gun.
After meeting with Dr. Bracy and speaking with several Board members, I will present a policy amendment that will require clear backpacks in our high schools. These backpacks would be paid for by the school division with no additional cost to parents. This action will have to be approved by the majority of the school board.
The School Board will be discussing possible resolutions to address recent events, and I will be hosting small focus groups with parents and community leaders to ensure that I have your input on what our next steps should be. This will be a Herculean task that will require city government, student leaders, and increased parental accountability.
Let me be clear, though, that we are not waiting to take action. Due to the increase of violence within our communities, the school division has taken extra precautions to ensure the safety of our students while they are in our school buildings. Today, all students entering our high schools were screened using metal detectors. I want to give special thanks to Sheriff Michael Moore for providing additional deputies in an effort to make this happen. We will also increase manual screenings, to include random checks within our school buildings.
Lastly, as a parent who has buried his own daughter, I know the unbearable pain of losing a child. To our Portsmouth families who have experienced the tragedy of losing a son or daughter, you have my sympathy and I share in your pain. We are one family, and we will get through these trying times together.
In Your Service,
Dr. Cardell C. Patillo, Jr.
This is breaking news and will be updated.