Local News

Johnston County Students Take Proactive Role In Keeping Schools Safe

Posted December 8, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— Responsibility is taking on a new meaning for high school students.

School violence can occur anywhere. Many schools have police officers on school grounds, but they can not see everything. Now, police officers are getting help from students.

On Wednesday afternoon, a student tipped off a teacher that 18-year-old Sebastian Bueno had a gun at South Johnston High School. Authorities say he had an unloaded handgun in his pocket.

"It's always a surprise any time a student has a weapon on school grounds, whatever kind of weapon it might be," said Deputy Wade Allen, school resource officer. "It's always a shock that it is not something anyone wants to hear in school."

Lamar Adams, a senior at South Johnston High School, says before the rash of school shootings, if someone brought a gun to school, it did not incite the fear it does now.

"Students would say, 'He has a gun, and he just wants to show it to people,'" Adams said. "But after they (students) started using them, you could think that, 'Maybe my school's next, or I'm next,' so you want to tell when the next person has a gun."

"After seeing what happened atColumbine High School,I'm glad somebody stepped up and turned people in so that doesn't happen again," Adams said.

South Johnston High School principal Edward Croom says students seem to be taking a proactive role in keeping their schools safe.

"Some of the things I'm starting to hear the other principals say is students are getting fed up with this type of activity in their schools," Croom said. "They are starting to help us clear and rid schools of the stuff that shouldn't be there."

Sebastian Bueno is suspended from school. He has been charged with possession of a firearm on school grounds. Reporter: Lynda Loveland