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Superintendent releases video message after more guns found on CMS campuses

CHARLOTTE — The superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is pleading with families to help stop violence in schools.

In a video message posted Thursday night, Earnest Winston called what he’s seen this year a “disturbing and dangerous pattern of violent behavior.” He said fights are also a major problem in schools.

Officials found three more guns on CMS campuses Thursday -- two at West Charlotte High School and one at North Mecklenburg High School.

CMS told Channel 9 that two guns were found and confiscated from West Charlotte High School students in the student parking lot. Nobody was injured and police have not officially released any further details.

CMS confirmed that a gun was found at North Mecklenburg High School on Thursday. Below is the message that was sent to parents:

“This is Principal Hood calling with an important message. Today, a student was found in possession of a firearm on campus. Law enforcement was called, and the firearm was confiscated without incident. No threats were made, and all students and staff are safe. It is a violation of CMS policy and state law to have a weapon on any CMS campus. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against anyone in violation. Your student’s safety is our top priority. Thank you so much for your constant support of North Mecklenburg High School.”

The message CMS sent to West Charlotte families is below:

“Good morning, West Charlotte families,

“This is Principal Hoskins with an important message. I’m calling to let you know that a safety screening was conducted today on our campus to help keep weapons and other prohibited items out of our school. Today’s screening was a precaution only – there was no threat or emergency. All students and staff at our school are safe. Today’s safety screening was very similar to screenings we all participate in before entering football games and other school special events. No students were permitted to leave campus during the safety screening. Our staff, parents and students all wish safety screenings were not needed, but weapons must not be in our schools. I am happy to share that no weapons were found during today’s safety screening.

“However, prior to the safety screening, CMS police observed several students in a vehicle in our student parking lot. They approached the vehicle, questioned the students, conducted a search of the vehicle, and discovered two weapons. The weapons were confiscated without incident.

“Please speak with your student about the consequences of bringing a weapon to school. It is a violation of CMS policy and state law to have a weapon on any CMS campus. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against anyone in violation. Your student’s safety is our top priority.

“If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at 980-343-6060. Thank you for your support of West Charlotte High School.”

Weapons found on CMS campuses have been a major issue, with 23 guns now having been found so far this school year.

In a direct response, CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston released a video Thursday night addressing school safety. Winston said he wants parents to talk to their kids about the consequences of having guns on campus.

“One more gun in our schools is one too many but guns are not the only challenge in our schools in terms of violence,” Winston said. “We have seen far more fights and altercations among students so far this year than in previous school years.”

(Watch his full message below)

In October, Channel 9 reported about another gun being found at West Charlotte High School.

At the time, officials said there had been a total of six guns found at West Charlotte this year. That total now stands at eight.

(WATCH BELOW: ‘Unacceptable’: CMS superintendent lays out district’s plan to curb school violence)