IHS student charged after gun report

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 10, 2003

A 15-year-old boy was charged Monday afternoon with being an unruly juvenile and a probation violation after other students said he brought a gun to the school cafeteria.

While no gun was found on the school premises, school officials said the matter received serious attention anyway.

"Someone received word that he had a gun and was showing it," Ironton police detective Jim Akers said. "They (school officials) did look for a gun and did not find one. A bullet was recovered near an exit door at the school, but the bullet had not been fired."

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Witnesses said the boy was supposed to have had the gun on school premises, but left the campus. Ironton Police Capt. Dan Johnson said when the boy returned to school, he was detained by school officials. The boy was later taken into custody at his residence by Ironton police and his probation officer, and was taken to a group home. Police confiscated a knife found at his residence.

"The fact that students reported that another student might have brought a gun to school was thoroughly investigated and any information that was received as to the accuracy of this information was reported to the proper authorities," Ironton School Superintendent Dean Nance said. "Like any report that would come to the school system, we took this report very seriously. We do have an emergency procedures plan in place for all types of emergency situations and we do investigate any report thoroughly."

Lawrence County Juvenile Court officials declined to say if the boy would face other charges in connection with the incident.

Nance said the any student in the Ironton schools can report such incidents anonymously at the Safe Schools Helpline. A student who sees another student in possession of a weapon at school may call 1-800-41-VOICE (1-800-418-6423) extension 359. The anonymous information is collected by an independent agency, transcribed and sent to the local school's officials, who can then take action on the information. The Safe Schools Helpline is being paid for by a federal grant.