Bassett High School student receives praise after telling teachers about a gun in another student’s school bag

HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) – Henry County government and the sheriff’s office continue to work together to determine what could have been done differently after a handgun was found at Basset High School on Tuesday morning .

The gun was found when a student told staff that another student had brought the gun to school. A school resource officer searched the suspect students’ backpack and found the 9mm pistol inside.

Officials say the student was arrested and charged with having a firearm on school property.

“The situation was resolved in a timely manner. No one was injured. Ultimately, by working closely with Bassett High School and our School Resource Manager, we were able to keep the campus safe,” said said Capt. Wayne Davis of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

The school did not go into confinement.

“Certainly I think one of the things that parents always worry about is, was my child safe? Either way, if we deem a student unsafe, we immediately follow other protocols. For example, we did not have to decree confinement yesterday. So that’s an indication that the students were safe,” said Monica Hatchett, director of communications for Henry County Schools.

The Henry County Crisis Team will continue to have meetings with school officials and the sheriff’s office to ensure they are using safety best practices.

“One of the reasons we are working so closely together is to continue to strengthen our security practices and to ensure that similar things never happen again, if we can prevent them,” Hatchett added.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has praised the student who spoke about the gun on campus and is urging others to do the same.

“We would like to encourage parents to talk with their children and encourage them to let us know any information we have,” Captain Davis said. “Without it, we may never have known this weapon was at the school. We salute this student’s bravery and encourage others to do the same.

“We are very proud of the student who was brave and shared this information because it is something that we try to instill in our students on a regular basis. So we appreciate that lesson was embraced yesterday,” Hatchett explained.

The minor is being held at the WW Moore detention center until he is tried.

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Martha K. Merrill