Four students out of school for threats, weapons

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2003

[03/06/03]After finding two weapons in students’ possession in less than a week and a bomb threat to a school, Vicksburg Warren School District imposed maximum penalties Wednesday.

In a special meeting, the board voted for calendar-year expulsions of the students they believe involved.

“The board wants to send the message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated,” said Kay Aasand, board president. “One incident is one incident too many.”

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“Our main priority is all of the students’ safety in all of the buildings,” she said.

Kevin Dulaney, 18, 45 Arrow Leaf Drive, was arrested Friday and charged with possession of a firearm on school property after Hinds Community College officials found a gun in his car. Dulaney, a ninth-grader at Vicksburg High, was at the community college attending vocational classes, superintendent Donald Oakes said.

“Another student reported that the student had a weapon in his car,” Oakes said. “School officials asked to search his car and found the gun on the floorboard in plain view.”

Oakes said the student told officials he took the weapon to school because of problems he was having with other students that were not school-related.

Dulaney was out of the Warren County Jail on a $2,500 bond. The case will be presented to the district attorney’s office for review for the May term of the grand jury, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said.

In the first incident last week, school officials found a gun in a locker at Warren Central Junior High School. Derrick C. Williams, 17, was arrested by police Thursday and charged with possession of a firearm on school property. In that case, officials were also given information by another student about Williams’ having the gun.

In the third action, board members gave the maximum punishment to a juvenile who called in a bomb threat to Warren Central Junior High School on Feb. 25.

The call was made on a teacher’s stolen cell phone. Making a bomb threat is a felony, but the student will be tried in youth court because of the age. Another student involved in the bomb threat, who stood as a lookout, was suspended for the remainder of the year.

Oakes said students bring the problems to schools and schools are powerless except to enforce rules.

“Parents and the community have to get involved,” Oakes said. “If someone in the community sees something that shouldn’t be going on they should report it.”

“Parents need to know what’s in their house and what their children are doing with it,” he said.

Property manager Mike Ouzts is also the 9,000-student school district’s staff law enforcement officer. “We do not tolerate this, and we are going to pursue this,” he said. “We are letting everybody know that we are not going to tolerate this on school property.”

In another matter, the board approved buying a $26,000 software program to upgrade the transportation department’s system for designing bus routes. The new computer program, called Edulog Routing and Boundary Planning Software, will provide the district with better maps that name roads and landmarks within the district.

The current program is a disk operating system and transportation supervisor Bill Keen said the new software would enable the system to be more user-friendly. Keen was hired to replace Robert Joe Adams who resigned in December.