Since Monday, five North Georgia middle and high schools have had students bring or threaten to bring weapons to school, authorities said.
The incidents took place in Cobb, north Fulton, Hall and Pickens counties. Two arrests were made, and two other students could face discipline.
Garrett Middle School: Authorities are pursuing charges against a Cobb County middle school student accused of bringing a gun to campus Wednesday and accidentally firing it in a bathroom.
School resource officers at the Austell school were not made aware of the weapon until after school, principal Kimberly Jackson-Hunter said in a letter to parents Thursday that was shared with Channel 2 Action News.
A student reported hearing a gunshot during the school day, she said.
“Cobb County School District Police and the district have identified the students who were involved and have recovered the gun that was fired,” Jackson-Hunter said. “The Cobb County Police Department will be pressing charges against those involved, but due to privacy laws, there is not much more detail that I can provide at this time.”
Channel 2 said the student is a 12-year-old boy.
Developing: Cobb County School District officials confirm a student brought a gun to school & accidentally fired it in a restroom. Police sources tell me the student is a 12-year old boy. @wsbtvpic.twitter.com/Yxhv2U73ZR
Autrey Mill Middle School: A north Fulton County student threatened other students on the afternoon bus ride home Thursday that they would bring and use a weapon at school, according to a letter to parents obtained by Channel 2.
The student “is not at school and will not be here until further notice,” the letter said. “The student will face disciplinary action in accordance with the Fulton County Schools Student Code of Conduct, and both Fulton County School Police and Johns Creek Police have been engaged.
“Any threat that hinders your child’s education or jeopardizes our safety will not be tolerated.”
East Hall Middle School: A Hall County middle school student was arrested Friday after bringing two weapons to school in his book bag and forcing a lockdown, the sheriff's office said in a news release.
The school was placed on lockdown about 10:20 a.m. after another student told a school administrator, the release said. School officials located a sixth-grade boy and confiscated a loaded small-caliber handgun and a folding pocket knife from his book bag.
The 11-year-old, who was not identified, was later arrested and is facing two counts of possession of a weapon on school property, the release said. Investigators haven’t found evidence that the boy threatened anyone with either weapon.
According to the release, the preliminary investigation found that the student took the items from a family member without that person’s knowledge.
The lockdown was lifted by 11:30 a.m. The boy remains in custody at the Gainesville Regional Youth Detention Center pending a hearing Tuesday, the release said.
Pickens High School: Authorities in Jasper investigated an alleged social media threat posted by a student Thursday night.
Sheriff’s and school officials in Pickens County determined after an investigation that the threat to bring a weapon to school Friday was “not credible,” authorities said.
“Our detectives and school resource officers worked through the evening and into the night investigating the social media post that has caused concern,” the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. “Through their investigation they have found that there does not appear to be any threat to the school. The post was between two high school students having a disagreement and both of those individuals have been identified and interviewed. No direct threat was made.”
Even so, school officials announced Friday morning that they would be taking special precautions.
“In an abundance of caution, there will be increased security presence on the high school campus today,” a spokeswoman for Superintendent Carlton Wilson said in a statement. “We would like to thank the sheriff and his staff for their vigilance in addressing this matter.”
Marietta Middle School: A 14-year-old boy was arrested Monday after he allegedly made threats on social media to "shoot up" the school. The teen, who is not being named because he is a minor, was taken into custody after parents brought the social media posts to the attention of the school's principal.
He is not a student in the Marietta City Schools district, but has previous ties to the middle school, the Marietta Police Department said Tuesday in a statement.