Two teenagers in jail on charge of bringing gun to school

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2000

NATCHEZ – Thanks to the concerns of fellow students, two Natchez teens were in custody at the Natchez City Jail Tuesday after they allegedly brought a gun to school last week.

Natchez High 11th-graders Jerrid Norman, 17, No. 2 Elbow Lane, and Carlos Ward, 17, 166 Morgantown Road, were arrested Tuesday after students reported to teachers they had seen at least one of the students with the gun on campus.

Norman and Ward are being charged as adults and were held without bond Tuesday on the charge of felony possession of a firearm by a student at school.

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Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff said other students spotted the suspects with the gun, a .22 caliber revolver, on school grounds Friday and alerted teachers late Monday night.

Some students saw the gun while one of the suspects was in gym class Friday, said Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis.

Both students admitted to the crime, Davis said.

Police not certain whether the gun was loaded when the students allegedly brought it to school, but it was not loaded when officers recovered it, Huff said.

Officials believe the students just brought the gun to show off, Davis said.

Police officials arrested one suspect at school and the other at home.

The teens will be arraigned today in Natchez Municipal Court and have been suspended from school pending a discipline hearing.

Davis said because of their age and the offense, he may ask the school board not to provide any homebound or alternative education to the students.

&uot;They made some choices that at this time I feel (very) strong about and we can’t tolerate that from anyone,&uot; Davis said. &uot;It’s unfortunate these two kids got into this problem, but at this point we are going to treat them as someone who endangered our lives.&uot;

The juveniles are automatically tried as adults because they are 17-years-old and charged with a felony.

The penalty for having a gun at school is a calendar year expulsion from the district plus charges through the court system.

Principal Brenda Williams said it &uot;broke her heart&uot; that this happened at Natchez High, especially since she thinks the incident is an &uot;inaccurate reflection&uot; of the school.

Except for this incident, the high school has been having a &uot;tremendous year&uot; discipline wise, she said.

&uot;The fact that we were informed of this is an example of the conscientiousness of the student body this year,&uot; Williams said.

Davis and Williams said they are not looking at this incident as a reflection on the high school but a reflection of society and the bad choices of two students.

&uot;Just these two boys made (poor) choices and it’s going to cost them,&uot; Davis said.