Gun scares at Montgomery, Prince William County schools follow nationwide increase

In just the last two days, both Montgomery and Prince William County schools have had gun scares on campus.

It comes as groups that track guns and shootings at schools report this year has been unprecedented.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

On Wednesday, an anonymous tip about a student with a gun at Northwood High School in Silver Spring led staff to a 15-year-old student with two rounds of ammunition, according to officials. In a letter to parents, the principal says the student then fled the school with his belongings.


"Police responded after the juvenile had left the property," said Cpt. Stacey Flynn, with the Montgomery Co. Police Department. "We were able to safely locate that student. We located a handgun in the area of where the student had left the school property."

Flynn said police in the county have responded to 15 weapons offenses in schools just since the start of November. She said most have been for possession of a weapon, not students using a weapon.

READ MORE: Alexandria City High School locked down after report of weapon on campus; suspect arrested

On Tuesday, police in Prince William County say they found an unloaded gun in one student’s locker and a BB gun in another locker. It happened at George Hampton Middle School in Woodbridge.

Rob Wilcox, Federal Legal Director for the gun control group Everytown For Gun Safety, said during this back-to-school period, there have been more incidents of gunfire on school grounds than any similar period since they started tracking in 2013.

Everytown’s data shows there have been at least 139 incidents of gunfire on school grounds this year. He said it’s imperative parents secure any guns they have in the home.

"The surge of firearm sales with the surge in first-time gun owners, we’ve seen the number of children living in homes with unsecured firearms increased to over 5.4 million children," Wilcox said.

READ MORE: Washington-Liberty High School cancels classes after anonymous call about active shooter

Mo Canady, Executive Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers, said SROs are seeing an uptick in violence and threats.

"Students are facing mental health issues like they’ve never faced before," said Canady.

It's not just about guns, but other types of school violence and increasing juvenile crime.

"One of the things I certainly hope parents are doing is checking in on your students well being at home," Canady said. "Parents need to be willing to inspect their children’s rooms, quite frankly."


He advised parents to also look at their student's social media.