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North Carolina school system sets record for guns on campus

A black handgun on black cloth, with ammunition
Thomas Def

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, North Carolina's second-largest school system, says it has surpassed its previous 10-year high for the number of guns on campuses after just three months of the 2021-22 academic year.

The previous highs of 19 guns found or confiscated in the 2016-17 school year, and 22 in the 2018-19 school year, are figures from complete years, based on annual reports from the school district to the N.C. Department of Instruction, The Charlotte Observer reported.

By comparison, from the start of school in August to Dec. 13, a total of 23 guns have been found in CMS schools, the newspaper reported.

The number of guns and other weapons found on students during a school day has varied in recent years. In 2017-18, nine guns were reported by CMS to state officials. During the 2020-21 school year, when students missed much of their normal class time because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the district reported six guns.

Superintendent Earnest Winston and others in Mecklenburg County are pleading with CMS families, as well as students, to help reverse the trend of safety concerns and keep weapons out of the hands of children and teenagers.

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