Midland Middle teen on house arrest for bringing knife to school - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Midland Middle teen on house arrest for bringing knife to school

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A Midland Middle School student is now approaching his tenth day of being on house after a hunting knife fell out of his book in class.

Chandler Griggs, 13, admits to placing the knife inside his Georgia studies book the night before to flip from the glossary to vocabulary words.

"I had to have some something, so I grabbed that," Griggs said. "I put it in the book, finished my homework real, real, late one night. I put it on my dresser and went to school not even realizing that it was in there."

Chandler says he completed the homework after a long day of playing baseball with his travel team. Little did he know that mistake would lead to house arrest and an ankle bracelet.

"They told me I had to go downtown," he said. "I had to get fingerprints, mug shot and I had the option to ride with my mom or dad."

Chandler's mom Trae took him to the police department. By then Chandler's dad had arrived at Midland after receiving a text, saying, ‘his son had been suspended from school'. Trae Griggs said Chandler is a good student and doesn't deserve such drastic treatment.

"They do a periodic check with the GPS to find out where he is and between 6 and 8 p.m., somebody comes by and he has to sign a paper saying he is here," said Trae. 

Principal Richard Green at Midland Middle could not talk about Chandler's case, but he agreed to answer questions about the disciplinary process.

"The discretion a principal has in this type is with school punishment as far as if the child is referred to a discipline tribunal or not anything that has to do with the legal aspect of it that is totally in the power of the police department," said Green.

Director of StudentSservices Melvin Blackwell said the district always errs on the side of safety when it comes to students bringing weapons to school.

"It's difficult to determine intent when all else fails, we have to rely on what is written, the law and when we do that, we are not wrong," replied Blackwell.

Chandler is waiting to go to court on the felony charge. The Tribunal decided to send him to the alternative school for 38 days as part of the schools' punishment. His parents are appealing the decision. They want him back at Midland.

After a similar case happened near Atlanta two years ago, Senator Emanuel Jones, (D- Decatur), sponsored Senate bill 299, amending the Zero Tolerance Act—stating a child in such cases must go before a judge before such drastic measures are taken.

Ours calls to the police department regarding this issue were not returned as of close of business on Wednesday.

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