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Theme School student suspended for gun

COVINGTON -- A third-grader at the Newton County Theme School will have a formal hearing after allegedly bringing a gun to school last week.

On Oct. 22 after arriving at school, an 8-year-old student discovered that over the weekend he had left his BB gun in his backpack. Upon the realization, the student took his backpack with the gun to a school administrator and confessed to inadvertently having the gun at school.

The school called his parents, who confirmed his story. The student's grandfather came to the school to take custody of the unloaded BB gun.

The school contacted the Newton County Sheriff's Office about the incident, but no charges were filed. However, the Newton County School System has taken action against the boy.

"In accordance with the school system handbook, the student was suspended to a formal tribunal hearing," said Sherri Davis-Viniard, director of Public Relations at NCSS, on Friday.

She would not say how long he was suspended or when his hearing will take place, citing that she can't release the discipline information for an individual student.

The Newton County Board of Education's weapons policy states that the student can be suspended for one year or more if a discipline hearing officer determined that a student possessed a gun on school grounds. However, as the law permits, the superintendent or a designee may modify the minimum one-year suspension in cases where a weapon was unknowingly brought on campus.

The policy states that the safety of students and staff is the board's primary concern, and the board recognizes the potential danger when weapons of any kind are brought onto school campuses.

The Citizen was unable to contact the boy's parents.

News editor Barbara Knowles contributed to this article.

Comments

OnToday 1 year, 12 months ago

And now noone will ever step up and admit they have something in their bags so all the weapons will be concealed from now on. At least the kid tried to do the right thing.

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manning 1 year, 12 months ago

The child(2nd grader) a few years back that ACCIDENTALLY brought a 9mm weapon to school because someone hid it is his backpack! I suppose the school should have just given him a pat on the back because he did the right thing and turned it in! The child should have never had a pellet gun without proper supervision of a parent!!! Stop making excuses people!!

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OnToday 1 year, 11 months ago

Unloaded BB gun vs. 9mm weapon...... yeah, you're right. Come one. Have we lost all common sense around here?

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tomgahunter 1 year, 12 months ago

"Sherri Davis-Viniard, director of Public Relations at NCSS"

Why do we have a "director of Public Relations" ? Would not the money be better spent with more classroom teachers?

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gsm7476 1 year, 11 months ago

Nice Lady but I agree the county needs to put the money in the class room not in propaganda.

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momofone 1 year, 12 months ago

manning, I am confused. Are you referring to the same child or a different child? If you are referring to a different child, why? There is a big differnce in a 9mm handgun and an unloaded BB gun that he instantly turned in when he realized his mistake. Quit using all of your exclamation points and calm down. It sounds to me as if he went somewhere with his BB gun, possibly his friends home or a relatives home and that he was supervised. You have no way of knowing if he was supervised or not so why are you jumping to conclusions? He probably used his backpack as his carrier for his toys and forgot it was in there. I think that a suspension is a little much.

My question is this: When did common sense go out the window? The zero tolerance policy is to severe. Yes, for pocket knives that are used in an aggressive stance and for handguns there should be zero tolerance, but for butter knives, chains on keychains and other items that are inadvertently brought to school, there needs to be a common sense clause. When a child does the right thing and you punish them for it, why will they ever do the right thing again? I thought school was supposed to teach our children. This should have been used as a starting off point for a school wide lesson on the dangers of weapons and remembering to put things where they go when you are done with them.

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jwm1955 1 year, 11 months ago

It really makes you think who the grown ups are when things come up like this. The young man should have been awarded for his honesty in telling school peronnel about his B B gun. It makes you wonder if the school is teaching a child not to be honest, this reminds me of how our president and his cabinet members has told lies about what happen in Lybia. We must teach our children to be honest and truful instesd of lying. The child went to his grand parents home over the weekend and forgot to take out of back pack before he went school.Guns are not the ones that commit crimes, it is people who have lost their jobs, and gang members who kill and rob innocent people. So I say to the school what have you really taught this child to do in the future?

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gsm7476 1 year, 11 months ago

If we go as hard after someone who turns themselves in witch is the right thing to do. What is going to happen when the next child has a weapon and may be this time it’s not to be a bb gun (You’re going to put your eye out kid ) It’s something that may be more dangerous. What do you think they will do? Not turn themselves in. Then we have a weapon is in the classroom just waiting for a child that cannot control themselves to get angry and think about doing something. Let’s have a weapons policy but let’s have common sense to, If you make it too hard on the children tiring to the right thing then you are sending the wrong message. In this case in house suspension would have been fine. NCSS you get an F on this one. Young man you did right thing by turning yourself in it showed charter something the grownups at NCSS did not have.

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will 1 year, 11 months ago

This child needs to be applauded for doing the right thing, however he also needs to be reprimanded for bringing a BB gun to school. Schools have policies that must be followed nomatter how small the problem and this is a small problem. If these policies are not enforced across the board then the school systems will suffer the legal ramifications if a child is ever hurt in one of these situations. If this child is treated any different than another child that brings a weapon to school you will start hearing the words discrimination, racism, and profiling. With all the worthless ambulance chasing lawyers preying on stupid people the school system is left with little choice but to follow policies that are in place and some of these policies defy logic. This child needs to go through the process and hopefully the tribunal will make a wise choice of punishment for this child and go light on him because he did the right thing by turning in the BB gun.

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gsm7476 1 year, 11 months ago

so your say do not do the right thing. because if you do you have to leave school? Do not get me wrong I do not want wepons in school but do do want COMMON SENSE somthing over the last 4 years the NCSS has not had. The child was wrong but so was NCSS. And 2 wrong do not make it right.

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will 1 year, 11 months ago

Im in no way saying do not do the right thing. What im saying is the child was wrong for bringing the BB gun to school to begin with, there should be punishment for that for sure. I know he did not mean to but he did, what if another child did something with it? I agree wth using common sense as well. Whatever the policy is for bringing a weapon to school has to be followed because of the litigation that would follow if its not followed accordingly. The ambulance chasing lawyers across America have caused this problem in all areas of life. This child has true integrity for doing the right thing and he should be applauded for that and be rewarded for that by the NCSS going easy on him. He needs to be shown what would have happened if he had not come forward and then give him a lighter punishment for being truthful. Bottom line a weapon was brought to school and that can never be ignored.

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Frustrated 1 year, 11 months ago

The child did the right thing by going to a teacher or administrator. Maybe the school should have left the discipline up to the parents. Talk to the child about the rules and make sure he understands WHY it is wrong, but dont punish him for doing what was right. Im sure it would have made a far better impression if it had been handled differently. He is at the age when he starts to develop his ideas of whats right and wrong. Maybe next time a child brings a dangerous object, knife, gun, etc., to school and remembers what happened to this child the results may be different.

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ShannonBlack 1 year, 11 months ago

@Tomgahunter I don't think that was necessary to down Sherri Davis Viniard yes so she is the PR director whom we need. Who we don't need is Dennis Carpenter. Now you want to talk about wasted money my friend, there is the wasted money. In my opinion the PR director has done a wonderful job doing what she can when she can.

Let's be real about who and where wasted money is and where it went.

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Satan69 1 year, 11 months ago

@Tom what in the world was that comment about? OK so now it's the Problem directors sultan and we should not have her? No dear she does a great job and not only that she does take a lot of crap as we all do but we need more teachers. But we aso need a Problem director.

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Fetacheese 1 year, 11 months ago

Amen SHANNON I agree 100% . We definitely need our PR person.
Mr carpenter is a waste of space and $$$$

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