Posted: Sep 26, 2011 7:59 PM by Shawn Kline
Updated: Sep 27, 2011 9:43 AM
Opelousas Police Chief Perry Gallow says both Opelousas Junior High and Opelousas High schools are safer places now after dealing with a pair of violent outbreaks over the last month.
"We feel that we have identified those who are responsible for the last two incidents." Chief Gallow says, "we will not have any further problems with them."
St. Landry Parish Superintendent Michael Nassif calls it 'gang-type' activity and police have spent the last month taking it out of Opelousas schools.
"Opelousas Junior High and Opelousas High school are two very good schools." Chief Gallow says, "there's just a certain group of kids who chose to make the wrong decision when settling disputes."
Chief Gallow is starting the week with even more officers around school campuses.
Last week, police arrested 17-year-old Brandon Roberson, charging him with aggravated battery. Police say he stabbed a 16-year-old four times in the bathroom at Opelousas High school.
And in August, a junior-high student pointed a gun at another student near school grounds.
"In both cases that we've had involving violence, it was something that happened on the street." Superintendent Nassif says, "the students brought it to school and we were unaware of it."
Nassif says he's working with police to put more officers around campus, and police are now using K-9 officers to randomly check the schools.
When asked if parents should feel safe sending their children to these schools, Gallow said:
"Yes, they should."
With the latest arrests, police and the superintendent expect the violence to come to an end in Opelousas schools.
"It's not a perfect world, it can happen any time." Nassif says, "but we feel pretty good about that."
Chief Gallow has suggested for the school board to look into stand-alone metal detectors.
Currently, the police use metal detecting wands randomly used in schools about every two weeks.