Student had unloaded gun in backpack at Long Cane Middle School

Published 6:35 pm Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A Long Cane Middle School student was taken into custody after an unloaded handgun was found in his backpack Wednesday afternoon.

The Troup County School System sent home a letter from Long Cane Principal Chip Giles to alert parents about the incident. Sgt. Stewart Smith with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office said a student resource officer had been investigating graffiti on the walls of a bathroom and that investigation led back to one student. An administrator inspected that student’s backpack Wednesday and found the unloaded weapon. Smith said no ammunition was found and no threats were made at the school.  Smith said there could be multiple criminal charges in the case, but the incident was still under investigation Wednesday afternoon around 5 p.m.

“This investigation began on Monday by the SRO regarding a graffiti complaint and his hard work led to this juvenile being confronted in the office, which led to the discovery of the handgun,” Smith said. “Sheriff Woodruff appreciates the hard work his SROs do everyday keeping our schools safe.”

Yolanda Stephen, public relations director with TCSS, said the incident took place after noon, which is why a letter was used to inform parents instead of a phone call. She said the school system also wanted parents to have something in writing that clearly described the incident.

“We were able to create a letter and have something sent to parents so they could have it in writing,” Stephen said.

“We’ve heard from some parents that when they get the robo call they can listen to it again, but they may not hear it. They may be in a work environment and not understand exactly what it says, so we decided to send a letter home so they know exactly what happened.”

The letter sent to parents said providing a safe and secure learning environment is a top priority for TCSS, noting that the school system “takes these incidents very seriously.” 

“We are vigilant and when we hear something we do something about it, so it is really a collaboration,” Stephen said. “We ask parents to talk to their kids about the importance of school safety, but also at school we look to see what things are going on and to see what we can identify and take care of at that time.”

Smith said the student was taken to a regional youth detention center until a probable cause hearing that could take place later this week.

A separate, unrelated incident took place at Hogansville Elementary School on Wednesday morning.

A man was arrested for allegedly entering Hogansville Elementary School with a knife Wednesday around 8:08 a.m. David Breazeal, 51, is charged with possession of a weapon on school property, according to Hogansville Police Chief Brian Harr.

Breazeal entered the main building and signed in at the office to go to the science room. He then walked to the media center and staff made contact with him and escorted him to the front entrance, according to the Hogansville Police Department. Officers then found the knife on him.

Stephen said there was an event going on at HES where parents were invited.

“He was routed to another area and when the administrator talked to him, they felt he was incoherent and didn’t understand where he was or where he was going, so they escorted him back to the front,” Stephen said.

Stephen said administrators did not search the man, but law enforcement officers were called and the school was placed on a soft lockdown.

No students or staff members were threatened by the man, according to the post.

“We do understand there is going to be some concern but we also want parents to understand that when we find out something is going on, we are handling it,” Stephen said. “We are following our safety protocols. We are following disciplinary protocols if that is necessary because we want all of our students and staff to be safe.”

Reporter Gabrielle Jansen contributed to this story.