WICHITA, Kansas – Officials at Northwest High say a student was in possession of a gun. It happened Wednesday morning around 11 a.m.
According to Wichita police, a gun was found in the bathroom. The 17 year old student was arrested. He reports being threatened by a rival gang member and put the gun in the bathroom for protection.
“Through interviews, the student did admit to placing the firearm in the restroom. This stemmed from an incident that occurred earlier in the week when he was threatened by a rival gang,” said Lt. James Espinoza, Wichita Police Department.
Executive director of safety services for Wichita schools, Terri Moses said she knows there are gang issues within the district.
“We are the largest city in the state of Kansas, and what happens on the street in a city of this size are certainly going to have an impact on what happens in the daily lives of the schools,” said Moses.
She said they talk to students about destructive decisions.
“Whether it’s drugs, gangs, or texting and driving, it’s important that they know how to make good decisions.”
David Gilkey is dedicated to gang prevention in Wichita and said the best thing for our youth is education and a strong support system.
“Bringing that gun to northwest, he was crying out for help,” said Gilkey. “They’re crying out for love, and that’s the bottom line, our kids wanna be loved, and if they think they can get it from a gang that’s where they’re going to go.”
Gilkey said working together to positively impact young people is key. “We do have gangs in our schools, we know that. Sometimes the gangs offer them things they feel they can’t get in their families, if you ask kids why they join gangs they say ‘love, protection, and family, and male role-models.”
As for the future of the young man at Northwest, a hearing will decide his consequences. “It’s up to our hearing officer to decide what disciplinary action will be taken,” Moses said.
Here is the following letter that went home to students: