Two Union middle schoolers expelled over gun on campus

Published: Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 12:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 10:57 p.m.

Two 14-year-old Union County boys have been expelled after bringing a gun to Lake Butler Middle School, authorities said.

Officials said this is the first time they can recall finding a student with a gun on any of the Union County School District's campuses.

Union County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Doug York said the gun was found at the middle school Jan. 14 after Principal Jerry Greybeal received a tip about it.

The principal "immediately identified and segregated the student in the hallway and retrieved the weapon," York said in a news release about the incident.

Deputies said they quickly determined another student was the one who had brought the gun to school and then handed it off to the student who was found carrying it.

A search of the boys also turned up a small knife.

Both boys were charged with two felonies each — possession of a handgun and possession of weapons upon school grounds.

State Attorney Bill Cervone said he will decide whether they should be charged as adults.

The boys were being held Thursday by the Department of Juvenile Justice in Gainesville.

"No motive has been uncovered," York told The Sun on Thursday morning. "We have searched their home because typically you look for writings and drawings about why they may want to use a gun, but we could not find anything like that."

York said the gun was taken from the closet of a parent in one of the boys' homes.

An investigation was continuing Thursday to determine if additional arrests should be made in the case, York said, including for failing to safely store firearms away from children.

Superintendent of Schools Carlton Faulk said the boys have been expelled from the district.

He also commended the students who were aware of the situation and reported it promptly to Greybeal.

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