Bartow Students Bring Pellet Gun to School

Two Adairsville High School students, who were taken to the Bartow County jail in Cartersville, face criminal charges after one allegedly pointed the air soft pellet gun at two other students.

Two students this morning were jailed in connection with an air soft pellet gun one brought to school and the other allegedly pointed at two other students. The orange tip identifying it as an air soft pellet gun had been removed, authorities say.

"It looked just like a Beretta handgun," Bartow Schools Police Chief Dan Knowles said.

Adairsville High School Principal Bruce Mulkey notified parents in a letter, a copy of which parent Michelle Kahn emailed to Cartersville Patch.

"I want to inform you of an unfortunate incident that occurred this morning in the cafeteria," he said, adding the gun was "actual size."

Devante Tevon Dotson, 17, of Rydal, and Tyler Lydell Jackson, 18, of Cartersville, were arrested and jailed as a result of the 8 a.m. incident that happened as people across the country prepared for moments of silence and bell ringings in memory of the 20 students and six adults killed in last Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

"The whole timing thing is not just stupid, but past stupid, I would think," Knowles said. "Not thinking, that’s really what it is. Not thinking....I don’t even know if there’s was a reason. They really didn’t say. I don’t know if it was a spur-of-the-moment thing. Just being stupid."

Knowles added that Jackson is accused of bringing the pellet gun to school, while Dotson allegedly put it to the back of one student's head and pointed it at a second student's chest or abdomen.

"That's what got the attention of the other students," Knowles said, referring to the teens who reported the incident. "That’s the kids who want to do the right thing anyway."

Mulkey said several students made reports.

"While most students in the cafeteria at the time were unaware that there was an issue, several students immediately reported the incident to staff and the two students were removed from the cafeteria without incident," Mulkey said in the letter, attached. "I am extremely proud of the students and staff who acted swiftly to keep the situation from becoming more dangerous for all of our students.

"As I know you aware, this could have been an extremely dangerous situation and will be handled accordingly," Mulkey continued. "I encourage you to speak with your son or daughter to make sure they understand the severity of and the consequences of this type of incident.

Dotson and Jackson will face a tribunal, or disciplinary hearing, to determine if they'll be expelled or suspended from school, Knowles said. The two, as adults, also face criminal charges.

While Dotson was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a weapon on school property, Jackson faces one count—possession of a weapon on school property. Both are felony charges.

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Carolyn Parrish December 21, 2012 at 10:33 PM
These were terrorist acts and after what happened in Conn., I can imagine how the victims were feeling. These boys are adults, treat them like adults and give them a STIFF prison sentence. Maybe you will make a statement to any others who might think of doing such a horrible thing.
Joe Christian December 21, 2012 at 11:41 PM
The principal screwed up, the chief screwed up, and the two kids will walk free. Airsoft is a toy, not a weapon. Hence the "orange tip" that was removed. Simple Assault would have stuck, and with it involving minors would have also been a felony. It is sad that the person in charge of the kids education and the person in charge of enforcing the towns laws could make that big of a mistake.
Janna Cuzzort December 22, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Airsoft is NOT a toy and is indeed a weapon and you have to be of legal age to purchase one. I agree with the way they are handling it. It is a serious offense especially following the recent tragedies around the world. So sad that ppl would actually want to blame everyone else for screwing up and wanting this taken lightly because it is not a joking matter!!!
Bill Martin December 22, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Why is it that when idiots do criminal acts or break the rules, someone else is always to blame? It's the principal's fault, the police's fault, God's fault, anyone else's fault but the moronic idiots who did what was wrong? These two teenage thugs know you are not allowed to bring guns on campus, toy or real.
jeffrie c panzer December 22, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Bottom line is we got to disipline our kids, don't spare the rod, make them think, spred the fear of God into them, woop that ass if they deserve it, this is bs, kids are out of control just becuz government bs wants to intervein, just pure bs.
jeffrie c panzer December 22, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Hey joe christain airsoft isn't a toy ok go to hobbytown and see for your self or better yet shoot your foot I garruntee you won't like the result, dumb ass!!!!!!!
Jennifer Bryson Colbert December 22, 2012 at 02:34 AM
I am a proud parent of an AHS student and also a banker. If you bring a TOY gun into my place of work and point it at me or anybody else, there is SERIOUS consequences...thank you AHS staff for being in touch with parents today... y'all are great!
Susan Smith December 22, 2012 at 02:47 AM
State law OCGA 16-11-127.1. Any device that can produce a projectile is considered a weapon while on school property. I think these guys know the law.
Mamma December 22, 2012 at 08:21 AM
Wow Joe Christian how stupid are you!!!! You must be kin or partial to these two dumb@sses !!!! People like you are what causes these problems!!! So basically you are just as typical as these boys are!!!! THANK YOU AHS OFFICIALS AND CHIEF OF ADAIRSVILLE FOR TAKING THIS MATTER SERIOUS!!!!! Push the punishment to the fullest!!! Unfortunately they will more than likely pull out the race card!!! But it is what it is and they need a harsh punishment !!!! THIS SICKENS ME SOOOOO BAD I WILL BE PRAYING FOR THESE BOYS B/C they are GODS children and they still need it as well!!!!! THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK MY OPINIONS.....
Bx Mommy December 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Unfortunately for these boys the law does.not.discriminate between air soft weapons and real weapons. I currently work on a state college campus where weapons are not allowed Air soft weapons will still get you arrested and when police are involved if draw are referred to as the gun that will get you killed becase even of distinguishable they are to close to tell on instinct and still able to enduce bodily harm. The law considers air soft weapons not toys!
Jesse Taylor December 22, 2012 at 01:08 PM
For god sakes it's an airlift gun! That's like bringing a pocket comb to school that looks like a switch blade. You know the ones that pop up out of a knife handle and you think a stain less blade is going to pop out but instead a shiny black hair comb does. I remember a buddy holding it in his hand and saying, give me your lunch money or I'll cut you wide open. Then he pressed the button and combed his hair. Plenty of kids brought those to school and we all turned out fine. My point is, as much as the police force would like to call this a dangerous killing weapon, it's not. The guns are created for a game in which friends shoot each other with plastic pellets; similar to paintball without the mess. I agree the gun is not appropriate to bring onto school grounds but let's face it, I could do more damag e with the sharp tip of a compass needle then firing plastic pellets. The students should be disciplined by the school; whether that be expulsion or suspension. Eerily will leave that up to the school board. To go as far as to charge them Keith a felony, that is a little over the top.
Kimberly December 22, 2012 at 03:16 PM
1. took the orange required tip off and brought "real size/real looking gun" to school 2. 2nd student pointed it at others and threatened people with it 3. both acts are illegal and a school is federal property 4. due to the staffs', principal's, and safety officer's actions, no one was injured and these students/adults will not step foot back onto school property and given the chance to bring an active/live gun to kill others with KUDDOS that the safety plan worked!!!!!!!! In light of all the school violence around the country, these boys knew better and should have thought their actions through but didn't and now they have plenty of time to reflect on their actions and choices.
George Jones December 22, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Too bad they didn't have an armed police officers at the school. he/she could have taken care of the situation without costing Th county/state/fed. government an thing. hence each officer has to pay for their own bullets used in a shooting. It`s time we took back the schools from the students and parents.there needs to be more strict discipline in the schools because the students are not getting it at home.
George Jones December 22, 2012 at 04:16 PM
These boys are adults legal age in Ga. is 17
Guinevere Khan December 22, 2012 at 04:44 PM
I think that the staff did what they should have, I called as soon as I heard what happened . I have three children there, two were sitting at the next table. One of the boys put the gun to the back of another child's head and then to another's chest, now tell me you think the staff made a mistake that they are being too serious??? Come on people, if that was your baby with the gun on them tell me you would have just laughed and walked way away. I sure as heck would not! Thank you Adairsville High Staff and Bartow law enforcement.
Craig Ballew December 22, 2012 at 10:58 PM
School is not federal property; however I do think it is a federal crime to have weapons on campus. Airsoft guns are a toy with limited capability for injury. Your first thought is that this is a toy and should not be used to destroy these young men's lives. However, the consequences could have been fatal. What if there had been a campus police officer that witnessed that act - he would yes would have shot the young man along with possible collateral damage of injuries or death to others. They have to be punished but with a chance for rehabilitation and redemption unless they are idiots, malcontents and/or criminally inclined who can't and won't take advantage of the opportunity.
Craig Ballew December 22, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Agreed that they responded correctly. The only question is how it should be handled afterwards.
Craig Ballew December 22, 2012 at 11:07 PM
You and your kids might need someone else's strict discipline but mine don't because they have a strong moral compass, so no thank you for your misguided knee-jerk reaction. What is even more scary is how cavalier you are with someone else's life?
Susan Smith December 23, 2012 at 01:20 AM
I agree with all you said. Just for future information the Chief quoted in the article is for the Campus Police. We do have our own Campus Police operated by the school system. Kudos to those guys for being there every day for our kids.
Susan Smith December 23, 2012 at 01:22 AM
It looked just like a real gun. So play time was over. We could've been reading a story about a student shot by police for pointing a fake gun a students. Thank God that didn't have to happen.
Susan Smith December 23, 2012 at 01:26 AM
My kid goes to AHS and knows one of the boys. I think the one charged for pointing the gun was involved in a burglary/gun theft ring last year. So these aren't innocent boys just playing a game.
JD Shaw December 23, 2012 at 01:34 AM
The boys made a mistake and Yes it is serious. But they are NOT to blame for the shooting in CT. People seem to be taking out there anger on these young men. They made a foolish mistake. Let them have probation and lets move on.
d1 December 23, 2012 at 04:07 AM
put there ass in jail
Always an Emerson girl! December 23, 2012 at 05:49 PM
@ bill martin...so you know these two young men personally? You've been in their company to be able to classify them as 'thugs'? Merriam-Webster: thug: ...ruffian or ganster. I doubt very seriously thugs are enrolled in school. @ Susan Smith...so you THINK "the one charged for pointing the gun was involved in a burglary/gun theft ring last year." Lady (and I'm using this term extremely loosely here), talk what you know and know what you talk. It's women like you who got Emmitt Till murdered. @ d1...please PLEASE learn the difference between 'there' and 'THEIR'...
Andrew December 24, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Pretty ignorant to bring a fake gun to school when others were preparing for moments of silence and bell ringings in memory of the 20 students and six adults killed in last Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. They were lucky an armed officer did not see them pointing it at others or they may have been shot.


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