Teen arrested, faces expulsion for having gun

Published 7:19 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2006

A 13-year-old girl faces expulsion after carrying an unloaded handgun and a clip onto a D’Iberville school bus.

Harrison County sheriff’s deputies said the unidentified girl brought the gun and a loaded clip onto the bus Monday. The girl is a student at D’Iberville Middle School.

School officials, acting on a tip, stopped the school bus Monday at the school and took the girl into custody without incident. Officials didn’t know at the time what the girl intended to do with the gun or whether it was loaded, said Sheriff George H. Payne Jr.

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Payne said the student was charged as an adult because taking a firearm on school property is a felony.

The student cooperated and was polite, said Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Shannon Nobles. She was released from jail on a $1,000 bond.

Principal Annette Luther called the incident “a bad mistake.”

Luther described the student as a typical young teenager who makes good grades.

State law orders mandatory expulsion from school for one calendar year for students who bring a firearm to school. School superintendent Henry Arledge said the student will be suspended pending an administrative hearing.

State law considers possession of a firearm on school property a felony. For students, the penalty includes mandatory expulsion for a calendar year.

Meanwhile, Quitman County Superintendent Val Towner said Monday that he will ask the local school board to expel three Quitman County Middle School seventh-graders who brought pellet guns to school. The students were suspended after this past week’s incident.

The Quitman County School Board meets Thursday.

Two of the boys brought plastic pellet guns to class. During a third-period class, a third boy took one of the guns and shot three other students, Towner said.

None of the students needed medical attention, he said.

“One kid was hit in the jaw, one kid near an eye and another kid in the back of the head or neck,” Towner said. “It’s very serious but was not done as a terrorist act. It was done in a horse-playing manner. It shouldn’t have been done at all.”

School officials confiscated one of the guns but were not able to get the other one, he said. The guns were sold by a vendor set up in a gas station parking lot near the school, Towner said.

If the three are expelled, they will not be eligible for alternative school placement.

“They don’t go to alternative school with a weapons violation,” Towner said.