Student caught with loaded gun - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Student caught with loaded gun

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May 19, 2005

Valdosta - Things are back to normal today at Lowndes High School, after one student caused quiet a scare Wednesday. "We were notified by a student that another student was in possession of a weapon on campus," said Dr. Steve Smith, Superintendent.

School administrators and resource officers found the nine millimeter handgun loaded in a locker. The 15-year-old freshman was immediately taken into custody and transferred to the Youth Detention Center in Thomasville.

"What we found out from interviewing the kids out there is this is a result of an earlier incident, an altercation, that occurred with a couple of the students, and the young man who had the gun said he brought it for his protection," said Captain J.D. Yeager.

Administrators say the teen didn't have a history of bad behavior and was a pretty quiet student. He apparently stole the gun from his father and snuck it into the school in his backpack.

With nearly 3,000 students, administrators say its impossible to search everyone, but this incident could cause some upgrades in security. "I'm sure we may possibly use more medal detectors when we're suspicious of these types of activities in the future," said Smith.

But they're depending on other students, like the one who reported the gun in this situation, to be their main line of defense against school violence. "We have to depend on networking and people talking to our officers and knowing what's going on, we can't search everyone," said Yeager.

"You can have all the electronic devices you need but they aren't nearly as helpful as teaching the students to notify authorities when they're suspicious of activities like this, the student who reported this is a hero," said Smith.

The 15-year-old has been expelled from school for one year, and is being held at the YDC until he appears before a juvenile judge.

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