Student Brings Hand Grenade to Class

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

May 17, 2006

Culpeper School officials suspend a Floyd T. Binns Middle School student when they discovered he brought an inactive hand grenade to class last week. Authorities say the hand grenade turned out to be an incactive

The Floyd T. Binns resource officer first examined the sixth grader's backpack, after other students said he was carrying numchucks. But the officer found another type of weapon instead.

"A piece of contraband that was reported to be a hand grenade," said Major Jim Branch, of the Culpeper County Sheriff's Department.

School officials called the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office, while the hand grenade was brought outside the building. School officials said there was no time to move the students.

"The resource officer made the decision to remove the item from school property because it was much faster than say evacuating the entire school," said Marla McKenna, the school's information officer.

After bomb techs examined the weapon they quickly realized it was not an active hand grenade, but a novelty item usually found at flea-markets.

"[The novelty hand grenades] look pretty much the same [as real ones] but they usually have a hollow base, they don't have a solid metal core all the way around," Major Jim Branch said.

The student was not arrested and the Commonwealth's Attorney said he will not press charges either. However, following school policy, the student was suspended from school until his hearing. During the hearing school officials hope to learn why he brought the weapon into class.

"An incident like this is something you can't predict," said McKenna.

School officials are not sure where the student got the grenade or what he was planning on doing with it. For now the boy remains suspended until he meets with the school's disciplinary officer. School officials say that as far as they know, the boy has been a good kid.

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