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OW Shooting

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Officers block the entrance to Orangeburg-Wilkinson after the shooting incident on Wednesday.

The three students shot at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School on Wednesday have been released from the hospital, officials announced Friday evening.

The Orangeburg County School District also announced security changes for the high school.

“We are pleased to share that the three students injured have been released from the hospital and are recovering well following Wednesday’s senseless act. We appreciate all who have joined our school community in prayerful hope for the full recovery of all who were impacted,” OCSD Superintendent Dr. Shawn Foster and O-W Principal Rahim EL-Amin said in a prepared statement.

A 14-year-old male is facing charges in the incident. The investigation continues.

The district warned false information is circulating.

“We know that teachers cannot teach and students cannot learn when they are scared and this type of activity will not be tolerated at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, or on any of our campuses,” the statement said.

Classes and activities were cancelled at O-W on Thursday and Friday. Students were offered counseling and counseling services will continue as long as they are needed, the district says.

Students will return to campus on Monday.

“Undoubtedly, the trainings our teachers, staff and administrators previously participated in proved to be extremely effective in their response. While I couldn’t be more impressed with the response of Orangeburg-Wilkinson’s administration, teachers, custodians, coaches, secretaries, students and other staff, we have discussed together with law enforcement other measures that will offer enhanced safety and peace of mind as we transition students back to school at O-W Monday,” the statement said.

Enhanced security measures will remain in place at O-W throughout the remainder of the school year.

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Those include:

• The bell schedule for O-W students has been adjusted. Classes at O-W will begin at 8:55 a.m., with student arrival beginning no earlier than 8:15 a.m., and end at 3:55 p.m.

The schedule was adjusted to align with the time school buses reach O-W’s campus in the afternoons and will ensure students transition from their fourth period class directly to available transportation.

Doing so means less idle time on campus for large numbers of students and greater supervision at the close of O-W’s instructional day, the statement said.

Orangeburg School District Superintendent Shawn Foster and Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell provide updates on the incident in which three O-W students sustained gunshot injuries as school was being dismissed for the day.

• All students will be cleared through metal detectors upon their entry into school.

On Monday, students should plan for law enforcement-supervised delays as thorough bag checks will also be implemented. Students are asked to bring only what is necessary to speed up the process.

• A large shipment of clear book bags is expected to arrive this weekend. Every O-W student will be provided a clear book bag before dismissal.

Throughout the remainder of the year, metal detector access and a search of bags will continue.

Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 24, clear book bags will be required; any supplemental bags such as those for athletics or personal hygiene items will be searched.

• In addition to O-W’s school resource officer, private security officers have been added and will remain on O-W’s campus throughout the school day. These additional officers are contracted for the remainder of the school year.

Local law enforcement partners will also be on campus to provide an additional presence and enhanced efficiency with arrival, dismissal and traffic at entry and exit points and parking areas.

The statement said, “It is our sincerest hope that these additional measures will offer our students, staff and families a greater sense of comfort as we transition back to school Monday.

“Again, there will be zero tolerance for any activity which jeopardizes the safety and security of our schools. We appreciate the continued support of all who have the Bruin family’s best interest at heart and it is with them that we will safely walk back into our beloved school with pride Monday morning.”

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