Pittsburgh public schools are seeing fewer guns and less gun violence on school grounds, but drug activity ranging from heroin to Viagra use continues to be one of many problems that feed into violence among students, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Police formerly seized about 18 guns a year from students, but the number is down to three or four, says Chief Robert Fadzen.
“Inside the school is probably the safest environment for our students during their day,” he said. Outside some schools, danger can lurk in the shrubs and abandoned neighborhood houses where students itching for a fight hide their guns, knives or Tasers. “School dismissal time is a real challenge for us,” he said. At one school, parents “come around during dismissal time to fight each other for whatever reason.” One parent complained that school police seized a student’s gun, saying “that it was his gun, for his protection,” Fadzen said. The school district has a 100-member police force, two drug sniffing dogs and an intelligence officer tasked with tracking gang activity.