According to Hayley Greene, public relations and marketing specialist for Bulloch County Schools, about 10:30 a.m. Thursday, a teacher at Mill Creek overheard two students talking about another child having either a gun or a knife in a book bag. The teacher asked the students for the child’s name. The teacher then privately confronted the student in question, Greene said.
The student voluntarily turned over a knife to the teacher. The knife had a blade of approximately two inches, Greene said. The teacher took the knife and book bag, radioed the school office, and along with a second teacher escorted the student to the office where they met with school administrators.
While emptying the book bag in the office, administrators also discovered the child had a pellet gun, Greene said. At approximately 11 a.m., administrators reported the knife and pellet gun to Officer Larry Futch, with the Statesboro Police Department, who already was on campus. Officer Futch, though not a school resource officer, regularly makes rounds and visits the school, Greene said.
"Based on the child's statements to school personnel and law enforcement, Mill Creek faculty do not believe the child intended to harm anyone at school,” Greene said. “However, our schools have a zero tolerance for children bringing unsafe items to school. We must insist all students abide by the Code of Conduct agreed upon by students, parents and faculty.”
Mill Creek Elementary and district faculty and staff are cooperating fully with the Statesboro Police’s investigation.
“All schools in the district do everything possible to maintain safe learning environments,” Greene said. “We encourage students to always speak up. If students see or hear something, say something either to a faculty or staff member.”
According to protocol, school administrators contacted the child’s legal guardians, and the child was removed from the school, Greene said. Administrators also notified the district’s Student Support Services Department, who will oversee disciplinary action.
According to state law, schools are required to report to law enforcement any possession of any type of knife with a blade of two inches or more in length or any weapon, instrument or object to inflict harm. This information is communicated to parents, guardians and students annually in the Bulloch County Schools Student Handbook, Greene said.