Deputies: 2 students brought pocket knives to school

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ELM CITY — Two unrelated incidents within a week involving students with knives at Elm City Middle School have resulted in juvenile charges.

Principal Will Pope sent a message about the incidents to parents Tuesday evening.

“I just wanted you to be aware that over the past week, we’ve had two incidents where students have brought knives to school,” Pope writes in the message. “We have dealt with these situations and involved law enforcement as is our process.”

According to Chief of Staff Wanda D. Samuel of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, the first incident involved an 11-year-old boy on Feb. 27.

“This is the same timespan of the Florida school shooting and threats of school violence being made on social media,” Samuel said.

The student involved had brought three pocket knives to school “for his protection in case a lockdown occurred from the incident that took place at the school in Florida,” Samuel added.

The second incident occurred on March 5 and involved a 13-year-old girl who “also indicated that she brought a pocket knife to school for her protection.”

Samuel said that in both incidents, the pocket knives were located in the juveniles’ backpacks and juvenile petitions were filed charging each student with possession of a weapon on school grounds.

Pope commended students who bring information about threats or weapons to the attention of school administrators in his message to Elm City Middle School families.

“We do not tolerate weapons of any kind on our campus,” Pope wrote in the statement to parents. “We take every threat to our students and staff seriously and will always involve law enforcement. Please remind your child of this and let them know they can always talk to myself, another administrator or teacher if they have any concerns.”