Middle school student charged

Published 10:50 am Thursday, February 25, 2010

WINDSOR – A juvenile at Bertie Middle School (BMS) was taken into custody after taking a handgun to school Wednesday.

Bertie County Sheriff John Holley said Deputy J. Cherry, who serves as School Resource Officer at BMS, contacted the sheriff’s office to let them know a student had brought a weapon to school. She reportedly had the student in custody and had recovered the weapon at that time.

“We contacted the parents and juvenile services immediately,” Sheriff Holley said. “He was turned over to juvenile services and has been charged.”

Bertie County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chip Zullinger said he was made aware of the incident quickly and was pleased with the way the staff at Bertie Middle handled an unfortunate situation.

“The administration of Bertie Middle acted quickly and removed the child and the weapon from the school campus,” Dr. Zullinger said.

Despite the weapon and student being removed, Sheriff Holley made the decision to lock down Bertie Middle School and conduct a search of the campus.

“We went back to school and conducted a lock down to check all of the lockers and make sure the students and staff were safe,” Sheriff Holley said. “We had no reason to believe there were more weapons on campus, but we did it as a precaution.”

That step was supported by Dr. Zullinger.

“We have always had the support of the sheriff’s office when it comes to student discipline of this level,” Dr. Zullinger said. “It was a good decision.”

The incident is a reminder to the staff of the school district, according to the superintendent.

“Any time you see a real gun at a school, you have every reason for people to pay attention,” Dr. Zullinger said. “It’s also a reminder to us to make sure we look at our policies and everything we’re doing to ensure student safety.”

No one was injured in the incident.

Due to being a minor, the name of the student charged in the case was not made public.