Loaded gun, fights at St. Paul schools spark safety concerns

- A loaded gun and a number of fights over the last few days have St. Paul public school administrators trying to figure out what's going on in the district. Como Park, Harding and Central High Schools have had to call police recently.

There was heavy police presence when Como Park High School dismissed for the day on Tuesday due to two fights that took place that morning. Two female students were arrested Tuesday after assaulting staff who tried to intervene in a fight between the pair.

In her 10 years as St. Paul public school superintendent, Valeria Silva said this is the first time she’s had to deal with a situation like this.

“It's a pretty sad day as the superintendent of St. Paul public schools to be standing here and talking about issues of violence,” St. Paul public school superintendent Valeria Silva said.

At Harding High School, the smell of marijuana brought police in to check out a backpack -- that led to a loaded gun.

“There was no threat to the staff [and] there was no threat to students,” Doug Revsbeck said. “As far as we know there was no intent to use the weapon in the building, but that investigation is continuing.”

At Central High School Tuesday morning a police officer tased a student who apparently said he was going to take on the world.

No one knows for sure why this is happening. Administration officials say social media and poverty are playing a big part.

“Our kids are needier they come from families that are suffering, whether financially or for other reasons.“ Central High School principal Mary Mackbee said. “There's just a lot of chaos in the world.” 

What to do about it is the big question and for now, there are very few answers. Administration officials say the number of incidents isn't actually higher than last year in the district; however, they are not able to break down that data to each school. They do say they are working very hard to keep students and staff safe.

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