2 students arrested after unloaded gun found at Northside High

jmink@macon.comDecember 13, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- Two Northside High School students were arrested Thursday morning after a teacher found an unloaded handgun at school, Superintendent Robin Hines said.

Both male students were inside a restroom when a teacher approached them. One student handed over a small, unloaded handgun, Hines said.

There were no injuries. Both students were 15 years old, said Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for Warner Robins police.

Both students were charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds and possession of a handgun under the age of 18. One student was additionally charged with possession of a stolen handgun, said Sgt. Porter Wood of the Warner Robins police. They remained in police custody Thursday evening.

The students face expulsion for a minimum of a year and, after that, possibly enrollment in alternative school.

“It is a very long time before they even have the opportunity to return to the school,” Hines said.

The incident occurred around breakfast time before school started. The students were inside the cafeteria, and a teacher on duty noticed one of the students acting strange. It seemed that some abnormal communication was taking place between that student and another student, Hines said.

The teacher saw the student walk into a restroom and, shortly after, the other student followed. The teacher noticed one of the students trying to hide something in his jacket. That’s when the teacher approached the student, who handed over the gun, Hines said.

“Safety is our No. 1 priority, and this employee did just that,” Hines said. “At no time was there any danger.”

It’s the first such incident in about five years in Houston County schools, Hines said.

Hines said he was proud of the staff and administration at Northside High for handling the situation and covering the campus appropriately.

“We certainly are sad and disappointed by the decision made by those young men,” he said. “But what we’re responsible for is the safety of those children, and our folks did a great job with that.”

To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 256-9751.

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