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Cherokee High goes on lockdown after two students found with gun

Jeff Bobo • Mar 29, 2019 at 2:24 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Cherokee High School went on lockdown for a short time Friday, and two freshmen were arrested after they were allegedly found in possession of an unloaded firearm on campus.

According to a Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office report, around 12:50 p.m. Deputy Bobby Moffitt was notified of two male students with a gun at the school.

Moffitt reportedly made contact with the students and found a .38 special revolver in a video cassette box in one of the student’s backpack.

The gun was not loaded but ammunition was present.

No planned attack

The HCSO said neither student had any plan of action for the use of the firearm, and no students were threatened or harmed.

Director of Schools Matt Hixson told the Times News that students alerted school administrators about the presence of the gun around 12:45 p.m., and the lockdown was lifted about an hour later.

For years, law enforcement and school officials have stressed that their greatest defense against the school shooting tragedies that other communities have experience are observant students, parents and the community at large.

In 2013, a parent helped foil an planned attack on Volunteer High School by two students, ages 16 and 17. According to their writings, the students intended to become the most notorious mass murderers of all time, with the highest body count. They wanted to be famous, and their road to fame would be paved with the bodies of their classmates and teachers at the Church Hill school.

There’s a link to more information about this case in the online version of this article at www.timesnews.net

“If you see something, say something”

“I am proud of the school administration and the sheriff’s deputy for their quick response and handling of this incident,” Hixson said. “As soon as they were aware of the possibility of a weapon on campus, they reacted immediately and appropriately. I am also extremely proud of the students who reported the presence of the weapon to school officials and ask parents to reinforce with their children the importance of reporting suspicious or potentially dangerous activity.”

Hixson added, “If you see something, say something. The safety of our students is a top priority, and we strive for continuous improvement in our procedures and protocols.”

Both students were transported to the Upper East Tennessee Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Johnson City.

Zero tolerance consequences

Hixson said there’s no known reason why the students brought the gun to school, but, pending an investigation, they face potential zero tolerance consequences.

“If what we know right now is true, at least the student who brought the gun (will be expelled),” Hixson said. “The circumstances have to be investigated, obviously — if both of them had possession of it at different times or if it was mainly just with the one who brought it. But we don’t take weapons at school lightly, and it would be a Z.T. (zero tolerance).”

The HCSO said no other information will be released due because the incident is a Juvenile Court matter.

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