An East Coweta High School student carrying a loaded 9mm gun was isolated and disarmed Thursday within minutes of administrators being warned about the possibility of a weapon on campus.
The school was locked down for around 25 minutes at midday after administrators received a report of a student with a firearm on campus. Administrators and school resource officers carried out a brief investigation, quickly locating the youth.
In a letter sent to parents, East Coweta Principal Steve Allen wrote that the student had not made any articulated threats and that the gun was removed from the student’s possession without incident.
“At approximately 12:25 p.m., East Coweta High School administrators were made aware that a student may have a gun on campus,” Allen wrote. “I was able to immediately identify the student and take possession of the gun at 12:27 p.m.”
Regular school operations resumed at approximately 12:50 p.m.
“After the principal got the call, (Allen) and the school resource officer located the student and acted in a very swift and exemplary manner to disarm the student without causing panic,” said Dean Jackson, public information officer for the Coweta County School System.
The student was arrested and will be charged in the case.
Just prior to the incident at East Coweta, an unrelated investigation took place Thursday morning at Northgate High School, where a student was removed from campus after allegedly uploading a threatening post on social media.
At approximately 10:30 a.m., Northgate’s administrators were made aware of a social media post containing a picture of a gun and referencing a shooting at the school that day.
School officials and resource officers were able to quickly identify the student who posted the threat, according to a letter sent home to parents Thursday afternoon, and the student was removed from campus.
The matter was investigated by school administrators, school resource officers and central office administrators, and “appropriate disciplinary action is being taken,” Northgate Principal Ken Kesselring wrote in the letter.
“Posts of this nature can have have lifelong consequences for students,” Kesselring wrote. “Please take this opportunity to remind students to think before they post. Safety is our highest priority.”
Another rumored threat was reported at Northgate earlier in the week. On Tuesday, Northgate administrators were made aware of a possible threat involving the school and identified the student reportedly involved.
School system officials and school resource officers determined the perceived threat stemmed from a fictional classroom writing assignment during which the student went beyond the assignment and listed the names of three students to be harmed.
“Although students interviewed stated they saw the list and believed the matter was intended as a joke, the matter is being taken seriously by the school system,” Kesselring wrote in a letter posted on the school’s website Tuesday. “Parents of students who were on the list have been contacted. Appropriate action in being taken and further investigation is ongoing.”
Kesselring wrote that the rumors were exacerbated by the presence of a Georgia State Patrol officer during morning arrival.
“This visit was unrelated to the rumors or any school business,” Kesselring wrote. “We encourage law officers to visit our campuses when in the area.”