Student arrested for carrying gun in school

Published 10:45 pm Thursday, September 3, 2009

Police responded to a call of a student in possession of a firearm Wednesday morning at a local school.

Selma police officers arrested a 16-year-old Phoenix Alternative Program student and charged him with carrying a concealed weapon and unlawful possession of marijuana second-degree.

Officers did not release the student’s name because he is a juvenile and his identification is protected under law unless a court certifies him as an adult.

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“Officers went to a school in the 500 block of Plant Street about 9 a.m. Aug. 2,” said Sgt. Doug Stewart. “Someone reported that a student had a handgun at the school.”

Police approached the teenager just as he left a bathroom. The officers questioned the suspect and then performed a “Terry Frisk.”

The term comes from the name of the court case, Terry versus Ohio. The case made it legal to pat down a person whom law enforcement officers deem suspicious. The pat down is meant to feel for weapons or other contraband that can be identified by touch only.

“Officers found a 9mm clip and bullets that fit,” Stewart said. “They also found a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Officers then entered the bathroom and found a 9mm handgun.”

Police took the 16-year-old to headquarters, where he was processed and then taken to the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center.

The Phoenix Alternative Program is a school where students with disciplinary problems are sent. The students are separated from students who attend other city schools.

Selma City Schools Superintendent Dr. Austin Obasohan said the Selma School Board would have to decide the fate of the student, but the school system did not put up with this kind of behavior.

“There is absolutely zero tolerance for bringing a gun or drugs to school,” he said. “The school board will have to vote on the matter, but we will proceed under state law. This is not tolerated on any Selma City School campus.”

In February, the school board expelled a Selma High Student for bringing a gun on campus per the No Child Left Behind Act. The act requires a minimum expulsion of 365 days for any student who brings a weapon onto campus.