Bay-Waveland Middle School students charged after weapons found at school
On Thursday, February 18, 2021, the School Resource Division of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office was on site at Bay-Waveland Middle School responding to an inadvertent fire alarm when deputies were made aware that a student had a firearm in his/her possession.
Per protocol, deputies immediately secured the campus. Deputies were able to identify and detain the involved student, and did locate a handgun in his/her backpack. During the investigation, deputies were alerted to another student that received a second handgun from the previously detained student, and they were able to immediately locate this second handgun which had been discarded in a trash can.
Mississippi law and the Bay-Waveland School District have a zero tolerance stance for weapons on school property. Accordingly, both juveniles were charged with felony crimes for possessing a firearm on school property. The primary offender will be charged with an additional felony crime for providing a weapon to another individual on school property. Both juveniles were taken to Hancock County Youth Court for further action.
School district officials notified parents via the school’s call out system that the incident occurred and was under control. According to Dr. Sandra Reed, Superintendent of Education, “While the incident was unfortunate, we are very thankful that no students or staff members were harmed. School administrators and HCSO worked well together to quickly locate the weapons and detain the students. This incident emphasizes the importance of constant reminders to all students that it’s critically important to let school officials know when a safety issue exists – particularly one that involves a firearm.”
Casey Favre, President of the School Board of Trustees, reiterated “This very serious situation was handled well by the school and district administration working well with their law enforcement partners. These relationships are vitally important to ensuring the safety of our school campuses and we are fortunate that this was resolved with the best possible outcome. As always, we will continue to look at any situation on our campuses to ensure we are working to promote a safe and orderly learning environment for our students.”
Sheriff Ricky Adam stated “While this is a very unfortunate event that had a potential for disastrous outcomes, I am very pleased with the timely response by our school resource deputies who worked to contain the situation. During this investigation, we learned that other students may have been aware that these weapons were on campus as early as their bus ride to school that morning, but these students did not report this to school officials. I think it is important that parents have these conversations with their children to know that when they are aware of these potentially dangerous situations, it’s okay for them to speak up immediately so that law enforcement can help resolve them in a safe way.”
Because those involved are juveniles, their names will not be released.