How many knives and guns are in your kids' school?

How many knives and guns are in your kids' school? »Play Video
TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- KEPR continues to track safety in our local schools. We uncovered how many guns and knives were found on campuses right here in the Tri-Cities. KEPR spoke to local teens who were surprised at the results.

There's a difference between perception and reality here in the Tri-Cities.

Reporter: "Out of the three districts, which one do you think had the most weapons in school last school year?"

Six Freshman Boys: "Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, Pasco, Kennewick, Pasco."

Five of them are wrong. For the first time in years, the Richland School District had more weapon incidents reported than Kennewick and Pasco for the school year ending in 2013.

"I know that there is, like, a lot of violence over here, too, but I've always just heard that there was more over at Pasco, so I kind of just took a guess out of the two so, I don't know, they're both kind of violent," said Richland High School freshman Madeline Richardson.

In Richland, the district reported 34 weapons found on campus last school year. Although it was the most out of the three districts, it was five fewer than the year before. Kennewick reported 33 weapons, one of which was a handgun. They had 16 fewer than the year before. And in Pasco, quite a significant drop. After two years with more than weapon incidents, the number was cut in half last school year. But why?

"They're busy doing something that they like," said Pasco High School Principal Paul Sital.

The principal of Pasco High credits their success to more kids being a part of after-school programs. He says a little more than half of the Bulldogs are in a club of some type. That's 200 more students than a couple years ago.

"Learning and safety go hand in hand, so when these pieces go down, it means we're doing the right thing," he said.

But the reality is weapons are still showing up around schools right here in the Tri-Cities.

"I don't ever see that much violence going on, but I believe it, I definitely believe it," said Richardson.

While Pasco accredited its drop to more kids involved in extracurriculars, Richland says variances are expected.