Zero Tolerance

Published 10:40 am Tuesday, February 26, 2013

MURFREESBORO – Two students here at Hertford County Middle School have been suspended for a full year following the discovery of a BB gun on campus.

Hertford County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Perry confirmed that information on Monday, saying the incident occurred on Thursday of last week.

“It’s unfortunate that two of our students will not be able to continue their education for the remainder of the current school year and a portion of next year, but we firmly stand behind our zero tolerance policy when it comes to having weapons on any of our campuses,” Perry said. “That policy calls for an automatic expulsion of 365 days, and that was the level of punishment handed down against these two students.”

Due to their age, the names of the suspended students are not public record. However, Perry did confirm that both were male students.

Perry said at no time did the incident escalate into a threat of the safety for the other students or the staff.

“No threats were made by either of the two students against their classmates or against members of the facility and staff at the Middle School,” he stated. “From what we were able to determine, one student brought the BB gun on campus to show-off to one of his classmates. The second suspension involved the classmate as he was witnessed holding the BB gun.”

Perry added that another student saw the BB gun and immediately alerted school officials.

“They were able to quickly confiscate the gun as well as alert me and the local police of the situation,” Perry said. “By the time it took me to drive from my office here in Winton to Murfreesboro the situation was totally under control.”

This marks the second time in three months that a pair of HCMS students were suspended due to violating the school system’s “no tolerance” policy. In mid-November, two males were expelled for 365 days for bringing/displaying a “toy-like” weapon on campus.

“One incident such as this is one too many,” Perry said. “Now we’ve had two in the same school year. That prompted me to have (HCMS Principal) Dr. (Vatara) Slade tell all the staff at the Middle School to please remind the students of our zero tolerance policy regarding weapons on campus.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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