School Climate & Safety

Detroit Schools Step Up Security After Student Shootings

By Millicent Lawton — November 18, 1992 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Three apparently unrelated shootings in less than five hours in or near Detroit public schools early this month have touched off a flurry of security improvements and other plans in the district.

Responding to the Nov. 4 incidents, in which 10 students were injured, four of them seriously enough to be hospitalized, the district has increased its in-school weapons sweeps and surveillance around all schools, said Rosalyn Whitney, a spokeswoman for the superintendent.

Central district personnel and other administrative staff members will be involved in the stepped-up security measures, Ms. Whitney said.

She could not provide estimates of the cost to the district of the enhanced security measures.

The district is also studying whether to install electronic doors that would allow people to leave a school building, but not enter it, after school had begun, Ms. Whitney said.

Police patrols, including the presence of “tactical mobile units,’' have also increased, Ms. Whitney said. Detroit police confirmed that they had beefed up their patrols around schools, but would not say to what extent.

Also in response to the violence spree, Frank Hayden, the outgoing president of the board of education, planned last week to reconvene the “Save Our Students’’ commission he chairs.

The group, which was formed in November 1991 to study ways to deter students from bringing weapons to school, had not met since the end of last school year.

Forums on nonviolence planned by the commission could be made mandatory for students, said Steve Wasko, a board spokesman.

Students in Custody

The spate of shootings began about 10:45 A.M. on Nov. 4 after three students apparently showed their identification cards to enter Finney High School on the city’s East Side, Ms. Whitney said.

The trio then donned ski masks and began firing into a group in a hallway. Six students were injured by lightweight shot, possibly bird shot, and refused medical treatment, Lieut. Thurman Page, a police spokesman, said.

The following day, two 18-year-olds, Renard Merkerson and Montrice Coleman, were charged with five counts each of assault with intent to commit murder and one count each of felony firearms violations, Lieutenant Page said.

The third assailant had not been apprehended as of last week.

The violence continued at about 2:45 P.M. on Nov. 4 when a 17-year-old Mumford High School student was shot in front of the school on Detroit’s west side.

The student, who was not identified, initially was listed in serious condition with a wound to the upper right chest, police said.

Last week, a 16-year-old male was arrested and charged with assault with intent to commit murder and remanded to the Wayne County Youth Home, Lieutenant Page said.

In the third incident, a 14-year-old boy and two girls, ages 13 and 14, were charged with assault with intent to commit murder and sent to the Wayne County Youth Home after a 3 P.M. drive-by shooting that injured three youths near Foch Middle School and Marcus Garvey Academy, an eastside elementary school.

A 14-year-old, a 15-year-old, and a 16-year-old were hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

At least one of the injured was a Foch student, police said, and another source, who did not want to be identified, said at least one was a Southeastern High School student.

All the incidents are being investigated by the police gang unit, which is standard procedure in such incidents, Lieutenant Page said.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the November 18, 1992 edition of Education Week as Detroit Schools Step Up Security After Student Shootings

Events

English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Explainer School Resource Officers (SROs), Explained
Does the presence of armed officers prevent school violence? Do they contribute for Black children to the 'school to prison pipeline'?
13 min read
Greeley Police Officer Steve Brown stands in the hallway during passing periods at Northridge High School in Greeley, Colo. on Oct. 21, 2016. While school resource officers, like Brown, are expected to handle responsibilities like any police officer they're faced with unique challenges working day-to-day in schools
Greeley Police Officer Steve Brown stands in the hallway during passing periods at Northridge High School in Greeley, Colo. While school resource officers, like Brown, are expected to handle responsibilities like any police officer, they're faced with unique challenges working day-to-day in schools.
Joshua Polson/The Greeley Tribune/AP
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School Climate & Safety Quiz
How Much Do You Know About School Crime and Safety?
How much do you know about school crime and safety?
Content provided by Masonite
School Climate & Safety Violence in Schools Seems to Be Increasing. Why?
Experts point to a confluence of reasons, including social isolation and access to guns. But there's no swift, obvious solution.
11 min read
Police respond to the scene of a shooting on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 in Memphis, Tenn. Authorities say a boy was shot and wounded at a school. Memphis Police said in a statement that the shooting was reported Thursday morning at Cummings School, which includes grades kindergarten through eighth.
Police respond to a shooting at a K-8 public school on Sept. 30 in Memphis, Tenn. Authorities say a boy was shot and wounded at a school.
Adrian Sainz/AP
School Climate & Safety Schools Ban 'Squid Game' Costumes for Halloween
N.Y. school officials are telling parents the popular Netflix series has no place in schools, either as a costume or a game at recess.
Elizabeth Doran, syracuse.com
1 min read
Attendees dressed as characters from "Squid Game" pose during New York Comic Con at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, in New York.
Attendees dressed as characters from "Squid Game" pose during New York Comic Con at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, in New York.
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP