0

Henry students face weapons charges

By Kathy Jefcoats

Two Henry County students face weapons charges in unrelated incidents reported Thursday and the brother of one made an appearance in Magistrate Court Friday morning for allegedly trying to "settle the score" for his sister.

Both incidents occurred on the fourth day of classes for the 2004-05 school year

A student at Cotton Indian Elementary School brought a Taurus .22 caliber firearm to school Thursday, but did not use it or threaten anyone with it, said Henry Police spokeswoman Officer Christy Nebel.

Nebel said officers went to the school and talked to Principal Felecia Spicer, who gave them a .22 caliber round of ammunition that she said she got from the 9-year-old boy. The boy reportedly said he didn't have anything else on him but officers patted him down and found the gun and four more rounds inside his waistband.

Nebel said the gun was loaded but inoperable because it was missing a slide and firing pin. Nebel said there was no evidence the child threatened to use the gun against anyone. He is charged with possessing a weapon on school grounds.

Henry schools spokeswoman Cindy Foster said this incident is a first for the school.

"To my knowledge, we've never had an incident like this at an elementary school," Foster said, adding that the student has been suspended and will face a disciplinary hearing next week. He was in Juvenile Court Friday.

Nebel said Friday that she could not confirm if the boy's parents or the owner of the gun will face charges, calling the case an ongoing investigation.

That same day, Locust Grove Police officers were called to Tanger Boulevard and Indian Creek Road in reference to a fight on a school bus. Detective Alvin Bearden said Friday that witnesses told police three females, 14, 14, and 15, were trying to fight with a fourth female, 14.

"The fourth girl pulled scissors and tried to stab the other three," said Bearden.

The three were charged with fighting and the fourth, taken to a Youth Detention Center, was charged with aggravated assault. Locust Grove Police Detective Sandra Holliday attended a Henry Juvenile Court hearing for the fourth girl Friday morning.

Bearden was in Henry Magistrate Court in connection with charges lodged against her brother, Joshua Alexander Scott, 18, of Queen Victoria Court, Locust Grove. Bearden said Scott is charged with terroristic threats and acts after returning to the bus stop with a 2x4 piece of wood.

"The bus driver was quick-thinking and closed the door," he said. "And called us for help. I guess he came back to settle the score."

The girls were on a bus that takes students to Luella middle and high schools but Bearden wasn't sure which school they attended.

It's not against policy for students to carry scissors, but "when they're sharp," they can be used as a weapon, Foster said. That student will also face a disciplinary hearing, she said.

Administrators sent a letter to parents of the children at Cotton Indian Elementary School stating "Situations such as this can cause panic and lessen confidence."

The students who notified teachers about the gun will be commended with a lunch Tuesday, said Nebel.

"We want to let them know they did the right thing," she said. "And to tell them thanks for a job well done."

(Staff writer Michael Davis contributed to this article.)