published Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Police find ammunition at Orchard Knob school


by Kelli Gauthier

Authorities never found a gun at Orchard Knob Middle School on Monday after the discovery of several rounds of ammunition on the floor of a classroom triggered a campus lockdown.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Janice Atkinson said that in light of shootings at Coolidge Park over the weekend, officials decided to take a "proactive" approach and lock down the school while law enforcement personnel searched the property.

Several people were arrested Sunday after the Saturday night shootings left five people wounded.

Investigators still are questioning several students about the Orchard Knob incident.

"It's still under investigation as to who brought (the ammunition) and how it got to campus," said Danielle Clark, spokeswoman for the Hamilton County Department of Education.

Ms. Clark said ammunition alone is not enough to suspend a student for a zero-tolerance offense, since no weapon was found.

"Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken (against the students)," she said.

Ms. Atkinson said officials had information that a male student at Orchard Knob might have a handgun.

Follow Kelli Gauthier on Twitter at twitter.com/gauthierkelli

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

about Kelli Gauthier...

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, ...

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