Classmates’ Parents Outraged They Were Not Notified
A 10 year old New Hope Elementary student was reportedly caught with a .32 caliber pistol in the bathroom of the school Friday afternoon. Lowndes County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Greg Wright confirmed that a third grade boy had been discovered by a teacher with the semi-automatic pistol and that the gun did not contain a magazine or any bullets. The boy is believed to have borrowed the gun without permission from a relative who was out-of -town at the time.
The boy was showing the gun off to some friends in the restroom, and a teacher was notified. School authorities confiscated the weapon and locked it in the school’s office until Lowndes County Sheriffs were notified about the incident Monday morning. The weapon was then transferred to Sheriff’s investigators and the boy will appear in front of youth court this week where he will face possible criminal charges.
Parents of classmates of the boy contacted The Packet Wednesday after learning from their children about the incident. Several expressed outrage that the school system did not notify them that a gun had been found on campus. Some said they fear for their children’s safety and that someone from the Lowndes County Schools should have told the parents of the incident by Monday. [Neither the school system or the Lowndes County Sheriffs Department is required by law to inform the public about weapons discovered on campus. No press release was issued for this incident, or for another reported incident that resulted in the expulsion of two New Hope students last week. Although it is unclear at this time the age of the offenders, it is believed that the two young men were also removed from the school for bringing a deadly weapon onto campus several weeks ago.-CK]
Lowndes County School Superintendent Mike Halford spoke to The Packet regarding the incident from this Friday and said that: “while I am not proud of the incident, I am proud of how the situation was handled.”