Guns found in vehicle of Goshen High School students

GOSHEN, Ind. –A Goshen police officer found guns in a vehicle with Goshen High School students during a routine traffic stop on Tuesday, Goshen Community Schools announced. 

Superintendent Dr. Steven Hope sent out a press release on Wednesday addressing the situation and the recent uptick in violence in the city.

Dr. Hope said the students have been disciplined to the full extent of the Goshen High School handbook policy, which states that the penalty for possession of a firearm includes suspension up to 10 days and expulsion from school for at least one calendar year.

To address the uptick in violence, specifically including gang and gun violence, GHS staff met to implement a number of safety precautions:

  • Increased police presence
  • Students cannot wear hats/apparel that indicates gang affiliation
  • Staff will be present in hallways before and after school and during passing periods
  • Students who need to leave the classroom must leave their phones in the classroom with the teacher (with the exception of students who need their phone because of a medical condition)

The full release said:

The Goshen community has recently seen an uptick of violent incidents, including gang and gun violence. Yesterday, during a routine traffic stop, a Goshen police officer found “two guns in the car and it was learned that the subjects had just come from Goshen High School. The incident remains under investigation.” (Taken from the Goshen Police Department Daily Activity Blotter)

The Goshen High School handbook states that “No student shall possess, handle, or transmit any firearm or destructive device on school property.” and “The penalty for possession of a firearm or destructive device: Suspension up to 10 days and expulsion from school for at least one calendar year with the return of the student to be at the beginning of the first semester after the one-year period.” The students have been disciplined to the full extent of this policy.

Our staff, led by the Goshen Police Department’s School Resource Officers (SROs) and principals, are aware of gang activity in the community. The SROs are trained and knowledgeable about gang affiliations and behavior, and they work hard, along with administrators, to keep gang activity out of our schools. The GHS staff met this morning to discuss the incident and they have implemented the following safety precautions: There is, and will continue to be, increased police presence; students will not be allowed to wear hats or any apparel that indicates gang affiliation; the staff will be present in the hallways before and after school and during passing periods; and, if students need to leave a classroom for any reason, they must leave their phone in the classroom with the teacher. The only exception to this rule about phones will be if a student needs their phone because of a medical condition.

Our schools are centers for learning and there is no place for gang activity in schools. At GCS, we are concerned for the safety of our students and staff, not only during the school day, but during the evenings and weekends as well. Therefore, as we move through the last five weeks of this school year, we are asking our community to help keep watch over GCS students and schools so that everyone may safely finish the school year together. For our part, GCS will have an increased police presence at all schools, with extra emphasis on the junior high and high school. We greatly appreciate the close working relationship we have with Mayor Stutsman and the Goshen Police Department, and we will continue to work closely with them.

It is our hope that our community will not continue to experience the violence that we have seen in the last few weeks. For now, we respectfully request that the adults in our community work with Goshen Schools to ensure that our community and neighborhoods remain safe, welcoming places for everyone. If anyone has questions or concerns, they may call the GCS Administration Center at 574-533-8631 or email contact@goshenschools.org

Sincerely,
Dr. Steven Hope
GCS Superintendent


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