By Bob Paslay
A 12-year-old Kendrick Middle School student was suspended Monday after bringing a handgun to school and showing it around. Later his mother was arrested after she told authorities she knew her son had the gun but take it from him.
Capt. Jeff Turner of the Clayton County Police Department said authorities depend on other students to be their eyes and ears to keep the schools safe and he said in this instance the system worked.
"You can only do so much and that is why we rely on students to bring it to the administrator's attention or Student Resource Officer's attention," Turner said.
"To have a handgun on school property won't be tolerated. We are going to treat each situation seriously."
The confiscated gun, a .25 Ravens Arm, did not contain a clip but was a workable weapon.
The student, who is from Jonesboro, said he found the gun in a ditch on the way to school, but his mother said he had the gun on Sunday, Turner said. He said a check found no records of the gun being stolen or used in another crime.
Turner said if a weapon matching its description is believed to have been used in a crime, authorities could run ballistics to see if it matches.
Turner said around 1:30 p.m. Monday several students in the cafeteria told the school officials that the child had been showing the gun around the school earlier.
When he was confronted, he told them he had put it in a hallway closet. He was charged with possession of a weapon at school and suspended. A later school hearing will be held in addition to the action taken by the juvenile court.
"We called his mom in to advise her of the situation and his mom, Yolanda Marie Hunter 39, of Jonesboro, said her son brought that gun home last night and she told him to throw it in the trash can," Turner aid. "She should have called the police and followed up. This makes her pretty negligence. She was charged with reckless conduct."
Turner said the boy didn't say he had the gun because anyone was bothering him or for protection.
"He just had the gun and was showing it off," Turner said.