(Southaven, MS) A 15-year-old student was taken to a juvenile detention center Thursday, after police said he brought a pistol to Southaven Middle School.
DeSoto County Schools told News Channel 3 that no one was hurt. In an email, a spokesperson wrote:
“Students immediately made school officials aware that a student was in possession of a weapon. Within five minutes, the student in question was taken to the principal's office. He surrendered the pistol to the principal without incident.
DeSoto County Schools has a zero-tolerance policy for firearms on a school campus. Safety is the number one priority in school district.”
Thursday afternoon, the school district was working on informing all parents.
Neither police nor school officials have commented on whether the gun was loaded, what type of gun it was, or how and where it was found.
Parents getting home from work had no idea of the incident.
Andrea Howard’s son is in sixth grade. She said she was shocked and wanted to know, “Where would a 15-year-old get a gun?”
While it’s incredibly rare to hear of this in her community, Howard also acknowledged this can happen anywhere.
“You’re never safe wherever you go. So it don’t matter if it’s Southaven, Olive Branch, or even in Memphis,” she said.
Another parent, who did not wish to be identified, became emotional at the news.
“Got to have some way to let us parents know a little quicker, you know I mean. What would happen if something had happened with it? Do you realize how many students were in that school?”
She said she has always taught her children to tell an adult about suspicious activity, even if it may seem like a joke.
At least in this case, students did speak up quickly.
Howard would agree.
Howard said that she would ask her son about this, and let him know to “watch who you hang with. Don’t be influenced by other children. Just because somebody is doing something doesn’t mean that you should do it.”
Ruth Garrison, who used to work at the school office, said she can’t remember weapons ever being brought on campus.
Garrison called Thursday’s news “scary,” but said at least the system seems to be working.
“They always had that open-door policy thing, and you know they were always good about trying to stay on top of stuff,” she said.
DeSoto County Schools will have a hearing process with the student to determine what disciplinary action to take.