IWA student arrested for bringing loaded gun to school

Published 9:34 am Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT—An Isle of Wight Academy student facing a felony charge for allegedly bringing a loaded .22-caliber handgun to school will have a hearing in court today.

The unidentified 16-year-old was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession of a firearm on school property. He was taken to Tidewater Detention Home in Chesapeake, where the hearing will be held to determine if he will be kept there or released to is parents, said Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Investigator Tommy Potter.

The Sheriff’s Department learned the junior allegedly had the gun at school on Monday, Potter said.

“We got some information late Monday evening that he may have possibly had it at school on Monday and may have it again Tuesday first thing,” Potter said.

Investigators were at the school Tuesday morning, where the gun was recovered. Potter did not want to comment on where the gun was found or the youth’s intentions because the investigation is continuing.

Isle of Wight Academy Headmaster Benjamin Vaughan said he understands the boy “just wanted to impress some of his peers.”

“He didn’t brandish it, threaten anybody with it, and he’s never been in trouble before. I was shocked,” Vaughan said. “He’s very remorseful.”

It’s the first time in Vaughan’s 41 years at the academy that he’s been faced with this situation.

The student faces permanent expulsion.

“If a student brings a gun to campus, and it’s discovered, he’s automatically suspended,” Vaughan said. “He will be indefinitely suspended until the student and parent make an appearance before the board of directors.”

The board will determine whether or not the teen is permanently expelled. The board could call a special meeting or hear the matter during its regularly scheduled Dec. 13 meeting.

Potter said the school administrator and parents have been very cooperative.