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Security measures enhanced at Columbus City Schools after fight involving knife

The incident comes months after CCS spent $3 million on new weapons detection system that 10 Investigates found had failed to detect certain weapons during testing.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus City Schools says an investigation is ongoing into a fight involving a knife last week inside Mifflin High School that ended with one student being injured and another student being taken into custody by officers.

Video reportedly showing the knife attack was posted to Twitter by Brian Steel with FOP Capital City Lodge #9. Columbus City Schools would not comment on what the FOP posted or its contents.

Steel told 10 Investigates that a concerned person inside the school gave him the video – which appears to show the attack.

Steel says it illustrates the need for the return of school resource officers inside the state’s largest school district. School resource officers haven’t been used in the district since the summer of 2020 – the same summer when social justice protests and discussions about police reform were a prominent part of the national conversation.

Last week’s fight involving the knife comes less than three months after Columbus City Schools spent $3 million installing a new weapons detection system in the district’s high schools.

It is not clear how the knife entered the school or if the Evolv weapons detection system was working properly or failed to detect the knife.

As 10 Investigates previously reported, the Evolv weapons detection system has come under scrutiny for its limitations and the fact that it failed to detect certain weapons during a field test conducted here in Columbus two years ago.

Our previous reporting highlighted how Evolv conducted a field test on its weapons detection system in 2021 at the Columbus Crew’s lower.com field.

The testing provided mixed results – showing that the Evolv Express did detect most handguns but failed to flag a microcompact handgun on two occasions. The overall detection rate for knives was 58%, according to a copy of full report reviewed by 10 Investigates.

The testing was conducted by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security – or NCS4 – which is based out of the University of Southern Mississippi.

The tech firm, IPVM, was first to obtain the full report on the Evolv Express system through an open records request.

When 10 Investigates sought a copy, a university spokesperson said the report had been mistakenly released.

The report has not been made public.

Columbus City Schools told 10 Investigates it was not given a copy of the report prior to purchasing this new weapons detection system.

10 Investigates reached out Monday to Evolv. A spokeswoman said by email:

“We share concern for the student that was injured and are working closely with Mifflin High School to help and support our customer.  We cannot comment further as this is an ongoing investigation.

”Since installing the Evolv system in its high schools in late February, CCS says it has confiscated a knife and a pair of nun-chucks.

Last week’s incident has led CCS to enhance its own security measures this week, which will likely involve random screenings of students.

A district spokesperson told 10TV:

“We notified all high school parents over the weekend that our Safety and Security teams will be conducting additional security screenings of students bags and belongings as an added layer of security when students arrive in the mornings. We will continue to explore all available measures to ensure the highest level of safety for everyone in our schools.

There was an altercation between two students during dismissal at Mifflin High School late Friday. A knife was recovered. Safety and Security along with Police are investigating the incident. The student was taken into custody by officers and removed from the premises. The other student was treated by the school nurse and released to guardians.

The enhanced security measures will include random screenings going forward.”

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