AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A shooting incident at T. W. Josey High School Wednesday morning is the latest incident of violence in Richmond County schools. 

City officials and members of the community tell us about their growing concerns for young people and how they aim to help. 

The cafeteria fight between two students ended with one student shot in the finger. NewsChannel 6 has learned the 16-year-old suspect turned himself in on Thursday.

As instances of violence continue in local schools, parents along with city and state officials say things need to change soon.

“We’re probably going to need to increase some of the consequences that happen in order to send a message that we will not tolerate this,” said  Charlie Walker, President of the Richmond County School Board. “This is not something that should be happening, especially, for those kids who are there to learn and to excel and to take advantage of the great things that the school system in Richmond County does offer.” 

Senator Harold Jones tells us he’s urging students to treat each other better and for parents to get more involved.

“Now how can the state get involved?” asked Jones. “Anything that we can do as far as security is concerned, we need to make sure that we step up to the plate and that actually happens. Because security is paramount. Our community cannot grow if we don’t have our education systems also growing and thriving. So, we want to make sure that security is taken care of.”

City budget conversations are upcoming.

Mayor Garnett Johnson plans to ask city departments to model budget reductions that could be used for youth programming. 

“People don’t realize that it’s an investment,” said Johnson. “A lot of people say, ‘well, there are already programs’. There may be, but I don’t know of any that are robust enough that really offer true programming where kids can go after school, where kids can go during the summers to really engage the way I did when I was younger.”  

Some people who live in Richmond County are reminding young people that non-violence is an act of strength.

“A lot of people don’t do this, but de-escalate stuff,” said Isaiah Anderson. “You know, walk away. Just because you walk away from violence or a situation, that doesn’t make you scared. It means you’re saving somebody else’s life or saving your own life, you know what I mean? That’s really what it boils down to.”

Josey High School, Murphy Middle School and the Marion E. Barnes Career Center will be closed through Friday.