The School Resource Division of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday responded to an “inadvertent fire alarm” at Bay-Waveland Middle School. Deputies were then made aware that a student had a firearm in his/her possession, a release from the Bay-Waveland School District states.
Deputies immediately secured the campus; identified the student involved; and located a handgun in his/her possession, the release states.
“During the investigation, deputies were alerted to another student that received a second handgun from the previously detained student, and they were able to immediately locate this second handgun which had been discarded in a trash can,” the release states.
According to the release, both Mississippi law and the BWSD have a “zero tolerance stance for weapons on school property.”
“Both juveniles were charged with felony crimes for possessing a firearm on school property,” the release states. “The primary offender will be charged with an additional felony crime for providing a weapon to another individual on school property. Both juveniles were transported to Hancock County Youth Court for further action.”
District officials notified parents of the incident via the school’s call out system, the release states.
“While the incident was unfortunate, we are very thankful that no students or staff members were harmed,” BWSD Superintendent Dr. Sandra Reed said in the release. “School administrators and HCSO worked well together to quickly locate the weapons and detain the students. This incident emphasizes the importance of constant reminders to all students that it’s critically important to let school officials know when a safety issue exists — particularly one that involves a firearm.”
BWSD School Board President Casey Favre said in the release that the situation was “handled all by the school and district administration working well with their law enforcement partners.”
“These relationships are vitally important to ensuring the safety of our school campuses and we are fortunate that this was resolved with the best possible outcome,” Favre said in the release. “As always, we will continue to look at any situation on our campuses to ensure we are working to promote a safe and orderly learning environment for our students.”
Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said he was “very pleased with the timely response by our school resource deputies who worked to contain the situation.”
“During this investigation, we learned that other students may have been aware that these weapons were on campus as early as their bus ride to school that morning, but these students did not report this to school officials,” Adam said in the release. “I think it is important that parents have these conversations with their children to know that when they are aware of these potentially dangerous situations, it’s okay for them to speak up immediately so that law enforcement can help resolve them in a safe way.”
Because the students are juveniles, their names will not be released.