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Police say teen took gun to school

A teenager, already serving felony probation, was arrested on the first day of classes in Clayton County, Monday, after police said he brought a loaded handgun into a local high school.

Montevious Terrell Howard, 17, of Riverdale, was arrested at Drew High School Monday afternoon, according to arrest warrants filed in Clayton Magistrate Court. He is being held on $20,000 bond in the Clayton County Jail.

Police said Howard arrived on campus, and continued to stay without permission, despite knowing he was trespassing. The warrants allege that Howard caused a disruption and the dismissal of classes.

According to a statement from the Clayton County School System, another student told officials Howard was carrying a gun. Police said the gun was a High Standard derringer loaded with two bullets.

Howard is a convicted felon, serving probation for burglary and robbery intimidation, according to his warrants.

Clayton school officials said the staff responded appropriately, and that safety is paramount. "The staff at Drew High School followed established protocol in handing this incident," read an e-mailed statement from Jerry Jackson, a school district spokesman "School officials acted in a prompt and appropriate manner, insuring the safety of students, staff and the individual. We also praise the student, who put the response in motion, coming forward to alert school officials pointing out the individual."

Officials said the system is "committed to providing a safe and secure learning and teaching environment for our students and our employees. It is the responsibility of everyone to make this happen."

Howard is charged with bringing a weapon to school, disruption of a public school, possession of a firearm a convicted felon and first offender probationer, and criminal trespass. The warrants don't specify that Howard pointed the gun at anyone, or made threats.

Howard made his first appearance Tuesday afternoon in Clayton Magistrate Court. When a sheriff's deputy told him to sit up straight during Magistrate Judge Richard Brown's instructions, Howard could be heard uttering an expletive. He told Brown he was unsure if he could post a $20,000 bond. No one stood in response to Brown's question about the presence of Howard's family in the courtroom.

Brown told Howard not to return to Drew High School.

School officials would not comment on Howard's status, or history, as a student, citing federal confidentiality laws outlined under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

"We are unable to offer further comment, due to our ongoing investigation into this incident and compliance with FERPA regulations," stated Jackson's e-mail.