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Rockbridge County Schools superintendent responds to concerns after Nazi symbolism, gun incident

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 5:30 PM EST
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ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Stacy Hostetter has children in Rockbridge County High School.

They were there as a student took a gun and ammunition to school Thursday.

“I’m scared for them to go to school,” said said.

She says the incident was already scary enough, but believes communication needs to be improved.

She says an alert should be sent out as soon as possible.

“They should have some sort of emergency phone call through the system that they have to let [parents] know as soon as after it happens,” said Hostetter.

Dr. Phillip Thompson is the superintendent of the district.

He says there are layers to go through before word can be sent out.

“When you’re conducting an investigation like this, it takes a lot of time to do it thoroughly and do it well to make sure you have your facts straight and by the time we learned about the incident and by the time we were able to get through not only our investigation, but the law enforcement investigation, create statements and get them out, it was later in the day,” said Thompson.

Thompson says school administrators are doubling down on educating students on what is and is not acceptable, adding that anti-Semitic rhetoric is not tolerated after two students were photographed performing Nazi symbolism in class Wednesday.

“Starting today, administrators at the high school are having conversations with students, and those will be ongoing conversations about what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate,” said Thompson. “You like to believe these things are fairly well known at this point in where we are in society but obviously these are conversations we need to have.”

The sheriff’s office told WDBJ7 the student with the gun was arrested Thursday.

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