Tupelo student punished for possession of disarmed weapon

TUPELO – A student is charged with possession of a weapon after allegedly bringing a nonfunctional grenade to Tupelo Middle School on Tuesday.

The student, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, was taken into custody by police and later released to his parents. The case is being handled in youth court.

School Resource Officer Capt. Ikey Carmack said the grenade didn’t present a danger to students or faculty but is against school policy.

“These grenades can be purchased at Army surplus stores and can possibly be converted back to an active state, but this one was not active,” said Carmack. “It was not dangerous but school was not the place to have it.”

According to school policy, knives, firearms, slingshots and any other weapon and look-alike weapons are prohibited on campus. Possession of any of these items can lead to suspension or expulsion. District officials said they could not legally say how this student would be disciplined because of privacy laws.

Another student saw the possible weapon and reported it to administrators, who “investigated the report immediately,” according to a statement released by TPSD Director of Communications Kay Bishop.

“Because of the quick reporting on behalf of a student and the timely investigation of school administrators and school resource officers, no TMS student was ever in danger,” the statement said. “…Officials of the Tupelo Public School District are very serious about our responsibility for the safety of all students, and we are committed to ensuring that every student is provided with a safe learning environment.”

Despite Tuesday’s slight scare, Carmack said Tupelo schools are probably the safest locations in the city.

“A lot of planning goes into making our schools safe,” he said. “There are crisis management plans for natural and man-made disasters, so we are very prepared to handle those situations. When you look at school violence over the past decade or so you have to look into every situation for the safety of the students and faculty.”

danza.johnson@journalinc.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal