Unloaded guns were confiscated from two students at Wheeler High School in east Cobb, an Acworth parent is accused of striking her teenage son with a hammer at Pine Mountain Middle School in Kennesaw and a student was reportedly caught with brass knuckles at McEachern High School in Powder Springs.
“We’ve always been vigilant and taken a hard line when anybody brings a weapon on campus,” said Cobb Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa. “We take every one of these incidences very seriously.”
A weapons charge was filed Friday after a Wheeler student reportedly told school administrators that he or she saw two other students with guns.
Christopher Taylor Bradwell, 17, of Marietta was arrested Friday morning on charges of felony carrying a weapon in a school zone and misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a pistol by a minor. He is also charged with trying to alter the serial number on the gun.
He was released on a $15,000 bond just before 10 p.m. that same day.
According to the warrant, Bradwell is accused of having a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol on the Wheeler campus between 9:30 and 10 a.m. The weapon was reportedly concealed in the front pocket of the student’s jacket.
Principal Dr. David Chiprany posted a letter on the school’s website after the incident informing the school community of the arrests.
He also said school resource officers confiscated two unloaded guns from two students without incident.
The district has not released the identity of the second student.
They were both taken into custody, and Chiprany reminded parents that students who bring weapons “of this nature” would be expelled.
“I want to commend the student who brought this situation to our attention,” he stated in the note to parents. “Students are a critical part of our ability to maintain a safe school campus. Please encourage your child to report any activity that they see or hear that they feel is a threat to their safety. This is an example of how our collaborative efforts can help ensure a safe and secure school campus.”
According to previous arrest records, Bradwell was arrested Jan. 8 on misdemeanor theft by taking charges and released that day on a $2,000 bond.
In a separate weapons charge, Beth Marie Pannell, 44, was arrested Friday and charged with felony cruelty to children in the first degree and carrying a weapon in a school zone.
According to the warrant, Pannell is accused of going to Pine Mountain Middle School where her child is a student, striking her 13-year-old son multiple times in the back, shoulder and head with the wood handle of a hammer while cursing and calling him names on Jan. 16.
Pannell allegedly hid the hammer in her coat, and it was found after it fell out of her jacket in front of administrators. She is also accused of striking her child’s arms, fingers and legs with the “metal claw” end of the hammer.
“(Pannell) left visible marks on the child consisting of bruising, swelling and small lacerations,” the warrant states.
She was released from the Cobb County Jail on Saturday on a $2,900 bond.
Hinojosa said he believes Pannell and Johnson’s arrests could be “isolated.” He applauded Chiprany and the student that came forward in the Wheeler case.
“Right now there is a culture among kids that they don’t want to be a snitch, but we could have a terrible tragedy as a result of that,” Hinojosa said Tuesday. “People need to tell us if there are issues that they suspect and we will follow up.”
Another incident was reported Thursday when a student from Powder Springs, Cornelius Johnson, reportedly attempted to pass brass knuckles off to another person after being contacted by a McEachern official.
He has been charged with felony carrying a concealed weapon in a school zone.
Cobb’s Director of Public Safety James Arrowood said Johnson was not arrested on campus because information was obtained after he left school.
The warrant was issued Friday, and police have not arrested him yet, according to jail records.