Teens’ ‘poor choice’ must serve as a lesson

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2000

A poor choice. That’s how administrators with the Natchez-Adams School District described two 17-year-old students’ apparent decision to bring a .22-caliber handgun to school at Natchez High this week.

The two suspects have admitted to bringing the gun to school and both boys are being charged as adults through Natchez Municipal Court.

And, following district policy, they’ve been expelled from school.

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Poor choices, indeed.

And choices that will, as Superintendent Carl Davis said, &uot;cost them.&uot;

These boys will likely lose their right to pursue an education through Natchez High. Davis has gone on record saying that he’ll urge the school board not to provide any homebound or alternative educational offerings for these two young men. &uot;We are going to have to treat them as someone who endangered our lives,&uot; he said.

And he’s right.

In order to be effective in its approach to discipline, the district cannot tolerate weapons on campus. And, given the prevalence of guns in our society and the alarming rate of shootings at at schools, it’s critical that teachers and administrators maintain a vigilant eye toward possible dangers and a zero-tolerance policy for those who break the rule.

Yes, it was a &uot;poor choice&uot; to bring a handgun to school, particularly if &uot;showing off&uot; was the motivation.

But it was a choice made by two 17-year-olds who will now have to face the consequences of that decision.

Let’s hope they — and their peers — learn a valuable, and lasting, lesson from this.