PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. - One day after the Calvert County school board decided against putting additional armed security into its high schools and middle schools, a student was arrested for having a BB gun in his backpack.
The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office said they received a call from a bus driver who saw a social media post from a senior student at Calvert High School who claimed to have a gun on campus.
A school resource officer located the student and recovered a BB gun after a search of his backpack. The student told the school resource officer he had it with him for protection.
The student was removed from the school and is now facing charges.
“If this young man had pointed this weapon at one of my deputies or any police officer, we probably would have shot him,” said Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans.
The incident comes one day after the school board turned down a proposal made by Board of Education member Kelly McConkey to put additional armed security in schools in Calvert County.
"In my opinion, we don't have time. We need to act now,” said McConkey at a school board meeting. “It could happen tomorrow. It could happen the next day. And the one thing, I have spoken with the sheriff's department and asked them, ‘What is the one thing we can do right now?’ And the thing we can do right now is let our safety advocates be armed in our schools to protect our kids and our staff.”
But when McConkey asked for a second on the motion, there was silence. The motion ended up failing.
"I was just in shock,” McConkey told FOX 5. “The meeting just went on as normal and the other board members made comments about other things and did not mention anything else about the security.”
Since the shooting at Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County, Sheriff Evans has had deputies posted at every school in the county. It is something he acknowledges that he cannot keep up.
Evans is in favor of arming as many as 11 school safety advocates who are all retired police officers with permits to carry concealed weapons. They are current paid school employees.
"They help the teachers with discipline measures and making sure students are monitored in the hallways and those types of things,” the sheriff said. “They are kind of a buffer between teachers and law enforcement.”
Evans said there would be no additional cost. The safety advocates would be armed with their own guns.
Thursday night was the first time McConkey proposed the added security. He said he has received lots of messages and calls supportive of his plan.
Sheriff Evans said the safety advocates are already trained and could step in immediately.
As for the student with the BB gun, the sheriff is heaping praise on the bus driver who said something.
"They saw it. They contacted one of my deputies and he got the ball rolling, and within minutes, we had this person under arrest and the gun taken out of school,” Sheriff Evans said.