Families call for more security at St. Paul high school after violent incidents

Allegations of multiple violent incidents, some involving loaded guns, have surfaced at St. Paul’s Harding High School this week leaving some frayed nerves in the school community.

"Clearly they're getting in there and whatever is happening, the message isn't being sent that guns aren't acceptable at Harding, and we need to make sure that happens," Barry Hand, a dad and former teacher told FOX 9. 

Not only is Hand frustrated, he has some serious concerns about what’s going on inside Harding right now, and the safety of his daughter.
The district and St. Paul police have confirmed several gun-related incidents inside the building over the last few months, including the frightening episode just this week.

"Now when it comes to guns, you know, the funny thing is, is a fight, an argument, broken property can all be repaired," said Hand. "Once somebody pulls a trigger and a round leaves the chamber, you can't put that back in a gun."

According to court documents the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office has filed felony juvenile charges against a 16-year old student who brought the loaded handgun into Harding.

The petition states the agitated teen had to be subdued in the assistant principal’s office while the school went into lockdown. At one point he allegedly had his finger on the trigger with the Glock in his sweatshirt pocket. 

Fortunately, staff was able to restrain him until police arrived and no one was hurt.

The incident comes on the heels of another disturbing report of an armed altercation in a Harding bathroom.

A witness captured an encounter on their cell phone and shared a video on social media that quickly spread across the community.

Meanwhile Hand and others argue it’s time the district think long and hard about implementing some type of metal detector security for campus.

"Is that the kind of school we want our kids to be in?" he asked.

As for that bathroom encounter with the cell phone video reported on April 1, police tell FOX 9 it appeared to be between a 16-year old suspect trying to steal the cell phone of a 15-year old victim.

It’s not currently clear if charges have been filed yet, but the young man is facing several counts including possessing a dangerous weapon on school grounds in the most recent incident.