When Red Bank High School was placed on lockdown Friday morning because of a gun on campus, senior Vanessa Dill worried for her friends’ safety.
“My best friend was in the classroom next to where the gun was,” the 17-year-old said. “They had us in the library, and it was really scary.”
Red Bank went on lockdown at about 9:30 a.m. Friday after a student told the school’s resource officer that another student had a gun, said Sgt. Matt Vandegriff of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department.
Students initially were told the lockdown was a drill, they said.
“Then they came back on the intercom and changed it; they told us it wasn’t a drill,” said sophomore Trevor Durham, 16.
After a brief investigation, the school’s SRO found an unloaded .380-caliber gun in a male student’s backpack along with a loaded clip in the 16-year-old’s pocket, said Janice Atkinson, spokeswoman for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department.
The student, who is not identified here in accordance with Times Free Press policy, was charged with carrying a weapon on school property and was transported to the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Center.
He also was suspended from school pending the outcome of a zero tolerance hearing, said schools spokeswoman Danielle Clark.
After about 40 minutes on lockdown, students returned to classes, Sgt. Vandegriff said.
Classes ended early Friday, as scheduled, for parent-teacher conferences.
Kelli Gauthier covers K-12 education in Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She started at the paper as an intern in 2006, crisscrossing the region writing feature stories from Pikeville, Tenn., to Lafayette, Ga. She also covered crime and courts before taking over the education beat in 2007. A native of Frederick, Md., Kelli came south to attend Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. Before newspapers, ...