DeKalb Schools officials net vape pens, knives in surprise sweeps

Surprise searches at some DeKalb County high schools on Friday recovered several banned weapons and vape pens, found as officials respond to a half dozen guns being found in schools already this year.

District officials said Friday that random metal detection sweeps took place Friday morning at Cedar Grove, Columbia and Lakeside high schools.

A taser, knives, vape pens and cartridges for the pens were confiscated. Vape pens have become a problem for schools as teenage use continues to rise.

The district announced Thursday that random sweeps would take place for the rest of the year, after authorities found three guns on students at different high schools Wednesday and Thursday. Six guns have been recovered from students so far this year, nearly matching the seven taken from students during the 2018-2019 school year.

A 14-year-old Stephenson High School student was arrested on Aug. 13, the second week of school, after another student said she saw him with a gun on a school bus. A month later, on Sept. 10, a Lithonia High School student was taken into custody after officials said he pulled a gun on another student. On Sept. 19, two students were arrested after administrators discovered one had a loaded gun on campus.

Wednesday, district officials found guns on two students, one each at Cedar Grove and Columbia high schools. Thursday, authorities found a gun on a student at Lithonia High School.