Lexington County School District 1 has placed a teacher on administrative leave and continues to investigate how a former student made his way on campus after a pair of December incidents.
Lexington County School District 1 has placed a teacher on administrative leave and continues to investigate how a former student made his way on campus after a pair of December incidents involving a gun and drugs at River Bluff High School.
Teacher Susan Horton is on leave with pay after Lexington Police found a gun in her car in the school’s parking lot on Dec. 2, Libby Roof, the district’s communications chief, told the Chronicle.
Though Horton had a Concealed Weapon Permit, police said the weapon was found in a purse on her floorboard, which doesn’t meet the requirements for a CWP holder to have a gun in their car on school grounds under state law. She was charged with carrying a weapon on school property.
“That person had a weapon in their car, and they did not follow the law,” Roof said, noting that if the gun had been properly secured, Horton wouldn’t have been charged. “That is why they were arrested.”
Roof said she could not provide any further information on Horton’s status, including how long the administrative leave will last and what the next steps will be in determining her future.
According to Lexington Police, Horton’s gun was discovered after officers responded to a tip sent through the district’s safety tip line that the teacher told students in her class she always keeps a gun in her car.
Roof told the Chronicle this tip line is district-wide and can be accessed online, by telephone and by email, and allows students, parents and staff to report safety concerns or improper use of district resources.
Less than a week after the incident with Horton, Dylan Silber, a 23-year-old former River Bluff student, was arrested after sneaking onto the campus and talking to students about drugs.
Silber was arrested and charged with disturbing schools. According to a release, he managed to get onto campus by disguising himself as a student wearing a River Bluff shirt, headphones and a backpack.
Roof confirmed that Silber was dressed like a student, including wearing a soccer shirt from his brother, who is also a former student.
A parent, who spoke to the Chronicle under the condition of anonymity, shared that her daughter mentioned he had been on campus multiple times.
“She said, ‘That's just so scary in the fact that they were there last week too and they are just now finding out about it,’” the parent said.
Roof told the Chronicle the district hasn’t verified whether Silber entered the school multiple times, though he had been turned away once previously when attempting to get a visitor's pass. She added that River Bluff followed all the correct procedures in its interactions with Silber.
When asked if the district plans to adjust its safety procedures following the incident with Silber, Roof said the district would not disclose wouldn’t disclose that information.
“The individual purposely dressed as a student, came in through the student entrance and blended in with other students,” Roof said. “He was identified as not having an ID tag on and was directed to the office to get an ID and that is the standard procedure.”
Many people expressed concern following the incident in response to the Lexington Police Facebook post announcing Silber’s arrest, including Heath M. Corley, who commented, “Security protocols need to be addressed immediately if all someone has to do is dress up in River Bluff gear and gain access to inside the school.”
According to Roof, the district hasn’t received calls about either incident, but she said she is unaware of what River Bluff has received.
“We're very appreciative of law enforcement helping us identify that former student and bringing them in so quickly,” Roof said. “[We’re] very appreciative of our students who did exactly what we asked them to when they see something that doesn't seem right, they report it.”
“You're not going to be able to prevent every single thing from happening,” she added. “But when there's something that doesn't seem right, you hope people will report it and work together to get it addressed and that’s what happened.”
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