LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The principal at Fredrick Douglass High School said a student has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon on school property.

“I’m writing to make you aware that a firearm was discovered inside a student’s vehicle parked on our campus,” wrote Principal Lester Diaz in a letter to parents.

The student was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and the Diaz said that due process would be followed and appropriate disciplinary action would be taken.

Diaz said the security and safety of students are not in question, and parents should feel secure.

I assure you that no students were threatened or in danger. This is an isolated incident and our school building and students remained safe during this investigation, Diaz wrote. “We are grateful to our FCPS Police Officers and administrative team for their partnership and swift action to resolve the situation and ensure we maintain the safety of our students and staff.”

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This happened only days after Michael Carneal, the Paducah school shooter, is seeking parole, and school shootings are on the rise.

Shootings in schools have spiked nationally in the late 2010s and through the early 2020s, according to statistics from the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School.

The full letter for Frederick Douglass High School families:

Dear Families: 

I am committed, as your principal, to make sure we have open lines of communication between home and school. Just as we hope you will let us know about situations at home that affect your children, we want you to trust that we will inform you anytime something unusual happens at school.

I’m writing to make you aware that a firearm was discovered inside a student’s vehicle parked on our campus. Fayette County Public Schools Police were patrolling school grounds, which is a routine procedure. Officers noticed something suspicious inside a vehicle parked on campus that warranted further investigation. After working with the school administration to locate the driver of the vehicle, our FCPS Police Officers conducted a search of the vehicle and discovered a firearm inside. 

FCPS Police Officers took possession of the firearm immediately. The student was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon on school property and possession of drug paraphernalia. Additionally, in accordance with the student code of conduct, due process will be followed and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

I assure you that no students were threatened or in danger. This is an isolated incident and our school building and students remained safe during this investigation.

We are grateful to our FCPS Police Officers and administrative team for their partnership and swift action to resolve the situation and ensure we maintain the safety of our students and staff.

This is an excellent opportunity for all of us to remind our students that situations like this are extremely serious. Students and parents should both understand that making threats against a school or bringing a weapon onto school property is a felony under state law. 

I also want to remind our students that they can report information anonymously through the STOP Tipline on our website. 

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at (859) 381-3780. Thank you for the privilege of working with your children and for your understanding that we are working diligently to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment on our campus.

Sincerely,

Lester Diaz, Principal

Frederick Douglass High School