Official: "No Evidence" Cartersville Student Planned To Use Gun

Assistant Superintendent Ken Clouse has released a statement in response to an unloaded gun found at Cartersville Middle School in April.

Credit: Patch file
Credit: Patch file
Ken Clouse, Cartersville City Schools assistant superintendent, has released a statement in response to the news of an unloaded gun found in a student's backpack on April 21, an incident the system didn't inform the Cartersville Police Department about until May 22.  

The unloaded weapon was discovered in a student's backpack during school hours when a teacher happened to notice an object which caught the teacher's attention. The teacher immediately reported it to school administrators, who in turn investigated the matter and discovered they had an unloaded handgun.

There is no evidence that the student had intended to do anything but have it and potentially show it off to friends. There is also no evidence that the student ever had it out of the backpack at any time at school.

The school promptly contacted the parent of the student and suspended the student from school for 10 days (the maximum allowed by the school) pending a disciplinary tribunal hearing, which was held on May 1.  

The unloaded weapon was secured and presented as evidence at the tribunal hearing which would be normal protocol for most items. We have since learned that we should have turned it over to authorities at the time of discovery and will do so in the future.

Once the tribunal hearing was concluded, parents and students have 20 days to appeal the decision of the tribunal.  Generally, it is at that time when the 20-day period is over that any confiscated items may be returned to the parent at their request.  

During the 20-day period confiscated items are locked up and secured at the central office. In this case, that 20-day period expired this week. Because of the nature of this particular item, the school resource officer (SRO) was contacted in regards to protocol about the disposition of the item and it was realized that we should have turned it over earlier.

The item was turned over to the (Cartersville) Police Department through our SRO. Again, this will be our protocol going forward. SRO's are not always involved in the case of a disciplinary tribunal as this is not always necessary or involving a crime, but simply a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Fortunately, we have not had an issue of dealing with weapons on campus. We take those very seriously, as we should. Even one incident is bad enough.  

We have reviewed our protocols and will always continue to work with law enforcement agencies in caring out the purpose of the school along with their task of keeping our community safe.
Todd Sander May 24, 2014 at 06:25 AM
What an epic failure for the staff and students. Sounds to me like there needs to be a complete change in the administration at that school. Oh and if the gun was simply brought to be shown; how would it possible to do that without taking it out of the backpack.
David D May 24, 2014 at 09:11 AM
I think we need a complete investigation of the student's family and the Georgia NRA. The gun manufacturers have paid very well to encourage the attitude that anyone can carry a gun.
Joan Lloyd May 24, 2014 at 03:48 PM
This is so shocking that I am opened mouth right now......I am concerned how this would have played out some other school district. This is utter MADNESS......OUR CHILDREN ARE NOT SAFE WITH SCHOOL LEADERS SUCH AS THESE......THE SUPERINTENDENT SHOULD BE RETIRED FROM THIS POSITION. A GUN IS A GUN AND HAS NOT PLACE ON A SCHOOL CAMPUS BY ANYONE. I guess when one of our children is murdered the laws will change for some of our more affluent students? shame shame shame. dunces.


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