Pike County Times

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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal at the link on the bottom of the page. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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School Vehicle Search Ends Up With Student at Alternative School
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - There has been some posts on social media concerning an incident at the High School of late that many have commented on, but Pike County Times had not seen personally. Since it is an election week, there have been other pressing issues that took up writing time of late. However, Pike County Times received a text message this morning asking about the "broken BB Gun" at school. This prompted an investigation to find out and report what was available.

Please Note: Everything is not available to the public or the press concerning this incident because federal law entitled the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) protects student privacy. The student's name has not been given and no other information has been given to Pike County Times except that which is provided in this article. There will be links to the Student Code of Conduct that describes school rules and discipline more in depth if readers would like to do some additional reading.

The Incident

Pike County Times asked for available information on this case and was provided with a written narrative that is provided here:

"On October 30, during an Interquest Canine inspection of the Pike High student parking lot, the canine alerted to a vehicle. The student was retrieved from class by Mr. Stanford. The student was asked if there were prohibited items in the vehicle. The student stated the vehicle contained two knives and a pellet hand-gun (picture attached). Upon inspection, a small baggy with marijuana residue, two bottles of “Blunt Power” air freshener, eight lighters, and a 20 gauge shotgun shell were discovered. The gun was visibly wedged between the driver’s seat and the center console. The student was suspended for ten days pending tribunal. A tribunal waiver was offered and accepted. The waiver placed the student in alternative school.."

"The following state law and School Board policy apply.

20-2-751.1. Expulsion and disciplinary policy for students bringing weapons to school

(a) Each local board of education shall establish a policy requiring the expulsion from school for a period of not less than one calendar year of any student who is determined, pursuant to this subpart, to have brought a weapon to school.(c) A hearing officer, tribunal, panel, superintendent, or local board of education shall be authorized to place a student determined to have brought a weapon to school in an alternative educational setting. 16-11-127.1. Carrying weapons within school safety zones, at school functions, or on school property

(2) "Weapon" means and includes any pistol, revolver, or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, …

Pike County Code of Conduct:


1. Possession of a Firearm, Dangerous Weapon, or Explosive Compound: Possessing, using, selling, buying, giving away, bartering, or exchanging any firearm, dangerous weapon, explosive compound, or an object that can reasonably be considered and/or used as a weapon. Note that pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-751.1, a violation of this rule has a mandatory minimum one-year of expulsion but may result in permanent expulsion, at the discretion of the disciplinary tribunal hearing panel."

Other Pertinent Information

Page 4 of the Code of Conduct advises as follows:


School officials may search a student and their personal possessions if there is reasonable suspicion the student is in possession of an item that is illegal or against school rules. Student vehicles, student bags, student electronic devices, school lockers, desks, and other school property are subject to inspection and search by school authorities at any time without further notice to students or parents. Students are required to cooperate if asked to open book bags, lockers, or vehicles brought on campus. Metal detectors and drug or weapon-sniffing dogs may be utilized at school or at any school function, including activities that occur outside normal school hours or off the school campus at the discretion of an administrator.

Click here to go to the Student Resources page which has a link to the current Student Handbook.


Pike County Times asked several questions to Dr. Michael Duncan, Superintendent of Pike County Schools, by phone today after receiving the statement and photo by email.

Pike County Times was advised that animals used for searches at the school are trained to alert on firearms or drugs. Because there was also a shotgun shell in the vehicle, there could have been a hit on more than item found in the vehicle.

When asked why weapons were the only item mentioned in the disciplinary action, Dr. Duncan advised that there was enough to move forward without the baggie since there were three felony weapons in the vehicle. He advised that the ending would have been at the exact same place regardless of whether additional complaints were added.

"Our job is to enforce the law and school policy," said Dr. Duncan. "We did exactly what the policy calls for. The School Board has no tolerance for this. They want us to keep the schools as safe as we can."

He said that he didn't know of any well-reasoned parent that would be ok with any actions that could possibly jeopardize the safety of their children. He added that Pike County has tons of parental support and that the students by and large behave when they come to school, and that this makes Pike County a wonderful place to teach and lead. But he added that actions have consequences.

Thank you to Dr. Duncan and the Pike County Board of Education for being as open as possible when Pike County Times has asked questions about various topics involving the school, students, and staff. Thank you especially to those who keep Pike County Times in the know about what is going on around the county.

[Note from the Editor: I do not know who the student is and wouldn't identify them from social media even if I did because that is not appropriate. If the parents choose to contact me about this article, please understand that a waiver will need to be signed for FERPA to enable an extensive search of records on paper to accompany this article because Pike County Times has a standing policy to investigate and not just go from word of mouth in a situation like this.]