THOMASVILLE, Ga. — A Thomas County Middle School school resource officer (SRO) found a BB gun in a 12-year-male student's waistband Friday morning and notified the Thomas County Sheriff's Office, according to reports.

The SRO transported the boy to the Jail-Justice Center, where the sixth-grader was charged with having a weapon at school and released to his parents.

Near the start of the school day Friday, the student was questioned by school administrators and the SRO about a suspicious bulge in his clothing, said Thomas County Schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Williams.

SRO Sgt. Leila Spires, a sheriff's office employee, found the loaded weapon in the boy's waist band.

The students told Spires he took the gun to school because it was in an old book bag, a sheriff's office incident report stated. A pupil told Spires the boy showed the BB gun to her and several other students and told them not to tell anyone, according to the report.

Williams said the boy has been suspended from school and will face a disciplinary tribunal. 

"All students and staff are safe, and normal classroom activities were not disrupted," the superintendent said.

BB gun projectiles can cause permanent injuries, said Capt. Steven Jones, sheriff's office public information officer.

"It looked like a gun," Jones said. "Obviously, he had it to threaten or intimidate someone."

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820 

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