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.