SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s a call no superintendent wants to get.

“It’s alarming to have a 13-year-old walk into school with a weapon,” Syracuse Schools Superintendent Jaime Alicea. “We don’t know what could happen on the way to school, on the way home.”

A classmate called their parent when they saw the boy with a gun. The parent contacted staff at Ed Smith K-8 School. The school sentry discovered the fully loaded semi-automatic handgun under the boy’s shirt. Police were called and the teen was arrested. As a result, security was stepped up at the school Wednesday.

“There was a plan in place today in the middle school to wand kids as they came in,” said Syracuse Teachers Association President Nicole Capsello. “There is extra sentries over there for today. We have shortage though. We have a shortage in every area of staff.”

Sentries are security guards. The high schools have school resource officers and metal detectors. Capsello said metal detectors are an easy safety measure and she
says she would welcome them if parents, staff and the school board were okay with it. School Board President Tamica Barnett said it’s part of ongoing discussions.

“We would definitely be open to the possibility of having them if that’s what it means for safety inside of our buildings at the lower levels,” Barnett said.

Both Barnett and Capsello say keeping schools is not just the responsibility of the staff and administration, it’s going to take the entire community.

Barnett applauds the student who came forward to report the gun. She wants parents to encourage their children to speak up.