Two GSCSS students face disciplinary action after knives were located on school property

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

Two Griffin-Spalding County School Systems students are facing disciplinary action for having knives on school property Tuesday.

The first incident occurred on a school bus as it was transporting students to Cowan Road Middle School.

Officials say a student notified the bus driver that a male student was in possession of a knife, leading the driver to notify Transportation Department dispatchers. That dispatcher notified the school, district administrators and law enforcement, said GSCSS Executive Director of Communications and Partnerships Adam Pugh.

School authorities initially planned to search students when they arrived at school.

“A law enforcement officer apparently heard the radio traffic and stopped the bus on Patterson Road,” Pugh said. “My understanding is that they (law enforcement) conducted a traffic stop but then had school administrators conduct the search.”

Pugh described it as an “administrative search” that resulted in the location of a knife.

“It was a paring knife. A little bitty paring knife,” Pugh said. “A kid had it in his book bag. He said he found it somewhere. It was literally a little knife you would cut up a pear with, a little kitchen knife.”

The second incident occurred at Program Challenge during lunch and involved a female elementary student.

“She had a very small pink Swiss Army knife. It had a blade that was about one-inch long,” Pugh said.

He confirmed that in this incident, the knife was withdrawn and shown to another student.

“…she showed the kid the knife in a way that I think anyone would find threatening,” Pugh said. “She showed him the knife in a way that could definitely be scary. Even though it was a small knife with a very small blade, it was a knife.”

Both students will face administrative disciplinary action but no criminal charges.

Pugh explained the decision not to pursue criminal charges in the Program Challenge incident, stating, “Based on the investigation that they did, the fact that the student is an elementary child and that the blade was less than one-inch, the decision was made that there would be no criminal charges. The whole knife was less than two inches.”

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