Two River Ridge High School students have been arrested and accused of bringing guns and ammunition to school, but district officials said the students did not intend to harm anyone.
The Cherokee County school system sent a message to parents on Monday saying that the two students had been arrested that afternoon, following the incident on Friday.
“Those students, whose names are not being disclosed by CCSD due to privacy laws, have been charged by the CCSD school police for possessing a weapon on a school campus,” the letter reads. “They are accused of allegedly bringing two unloaded guns and ammunition inside the school on Friday for use off campus after school. There was no apparent or stated intent on the part of either student to do any harm to anyone at school. As the investigation is ongoing, we cannot share any other information at this time.”
The letter continues that the school district was made aware of the allegations by an anonymous tip on Monday, at which time an investigation “immediately began and led to the students’ arrests.”
Barbara Jacoby, a spokeswoman for the district, said Tuesday that the specifics of the “severe administrative discipline” that the letter says the students will face cannot be released due to privacy laws. However, Jacoby did point to the school district’s discipline code, which indicates that punishments under a section entitled “intentional possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon with no intent to do harm” include nine days external suspension; scheduling of a tribunal with recommendation for a minimum one-year expulsion; and possible suspension or expulsion from bus transportation, should the event have taken place on a bus or at a bus stop. The code also notes that “students individually victimized by any such documented incident may seek a school transfer under the federal Unsafe School Choice Option program. No Georgia school has been determined “persistently dangerous” as defined under the program by the state since 2005.
The school district’s letter also included information on its SafeSchools Alert system, which allows anyone in the community – students, parents and staff included – to report information about the Friday incident or any other safety concerns, with an option to remain anonymous. Parents who are concerned about this or other incidents are also encouraged to contact the principal of their child’s school.
For more information, visit cherokee-ga.safeschoolsalert.com.