McCaysville to add full-time officer after recent events

Community, News

McCaysville, Ga. – With growth comes crime, and McCaysville is not immune to this statistic. McCaysville Chief of Police Michael Earley made a plea to city council to help him keep the citizens of the city safe.

“I know we just passed the budget, but I am asking the council to help me out,” Earley began as he asked council members to find funds somewhere in the budget to hire another full-time officer for night shift.

The McCaysville Police Department is currently comprised of only 6 full-time officers with the remaining force being part-time. 

McCaysville, Police, Fannin, Shooting, Officer involved

James Larry Parris, Jr., age 51, is the alleged gunman who caused McCaysville Police to use lethal force.

August has been the busiest month that the department has experienced. Earley laid out statistics for the month stating that the department received 53 dispatch calls, 121 phone calls, 15 walk-ins, and 68 vehicle stops.

Among the calls to come in during the month of August, Earley referenced one in particular that reinforced his feelings that the city and his department would be safer with another full-time officer. This incident made statewide news as an officer involved shooting.

Patrolman Bill Higdon was first to arrive on the scene of an unstable gunman holding 3 citizens hostage. According to Earley, Higdon, alone on the scene, screamed into the radio for backup as the suspect was actively discharging a weapon inside the home.

Earley stated that he does not want his officers working alone on night shift. Being in pairs will provide extra security to the officers and enable them “to effectively protect the citizens of this city that we live in”.

“I know this is going to take more money and I don’t know where that money is going to be found, but if you all would consider trying to find that money somewhere,” Earley said about the need for another full-time officer, and added, with visible emotion, about the night of the hostage situation, “We came out ahead and lives were saved that day and we all went home safe. This is just one event that could very easily happen again.”

Council member Rodney Patterson answered Earley immediately addressing fellow council, “I think we could find it in the budget for him to have help.” 

Patterson also made mention that the purchase of 3 new body shields at a price tag of $300 a piece would add to the safety of the force.

“I think if our chief needs something then we try to get it for him,” Council member Sue Beaver agreed with Patterson.

Patterson made the motion for a full time officer to be added to the police force and for the purchase of three body shields, council member Richard Wagner gave a second and the council voted unanimously in favor.

Earley mentioned the possibility of moving a part-time officer to the full-time position. This hire would save the city money in that the officer would already have the necessary training to fill the full-time spot.

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Details emerge surrounding officer involved shooting in McCaysville

Featured Stories, News
Officer involved shooting McCaysville

McCaysville, Ga. – James Larry Parris, Jr., age 51, is facing multiple felony charges after an incident that occurred in the early morning hours of Aug. 30. The incident, a hostage situation, led to police using lethal force to bring the situation to an end.

Details are emerging of the events that happened shortly after midnight in the City of McCaysville. 

The McCaysville Police Department responded to a housing authority apartment complex after Fannin County dispatch received a 911 call. According to dispatch, Parris stated during the 911 call that no one was leaving the apartment alive.

Patrolman Bill Higdon was first on the scene and upon arriving at the apartment was immediately faced with an armed and belligerent Parris.

Parris had allegedly forced entry into the apartment, which is occupied by his ex-wife. A male friend of the female victim and a minor were also present at the time.

While Parris and his ex-wife have been divorced for many years, sources tell FetchYourNews that Parris had become enraged upon hearing that the male friend was present in the home. According to sources Parris and the unnamed male victim are blood related.

Patrolman Higdon established that Parris was armed with a 20 gauge shotgun and that there were three hostages present at scene. 

Parris told Higdon “not to come in the apartement” and verbally threatened the officer and hostages with bodily harm. At this point Higdon requested further assistance, to which McCaysville Chief of Police Michael Earley, Detective Captain Billy Brackett, Patrolman Cory Collogan, as well as members of the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office and Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded.

Earley, Brackett, and Higdon attempted to negotiate with Parris. Earley told FetchYourNews that negotiations with Parris “went on for quite some time and initially seemed to be successful”.  Through these negotiations Parris had agreed to put down his weapon and let the officers enter the apartment.

Once officers began to enter, however, Parris rearmed himself, picking up the shotgun and pointing it at officers while shouting, “Get out! Get out of this house!”.

With the immediate threat that Parris posed to the officers, Chief Earley took measures to end the situation and fired upon Parris, disarming the gunman and allowing time for officers to move in and make an arrest.

Parris was airlifted to a Metro Atlanta hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries. 

Parris was released from the hospital on Thursday, Sep. 5. 

McCaysville Police Chief Earley, Capt. Brackett, and Officer Mark Chastain, were present at the hospital to escort Parris back to Fannin County.

Paris is currently being held at the Fannin County Detention Facility where he faces the following charges:

  • Firearm/Knife possession while committing or attempting to commit a crime
  • Criminal Attempt (A person commits the offense of criminal attempt when, with intent to commit a specific crime, they perform any act which constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of that crime)
  • Cruelty to ChildrenBurglaryDamage to and intrusion upon property
  • 3 Counts False Imprisonment
  • 6 Counts Aggravated Assualt

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

McCaysville officer involved shooting

Featured Stories, News
Officer Involved Shooting

McCaysville, Ga – Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and McCaysville Police Department confirmed that an overnight officer-involved shooting occurred within McCaysville city limits.

According to the press release issued by McCaysville, Police Department, Fannin 911 emergency operations center received a call from a woman on August 30th at 12:08 a.m., who stated that an armed male gunman man had broken into her apartment.

The accused gunman was James Larry Parris, Jr., 50 and the ex-husband of the the 911 caller.

McCaysville Officers arrived on the scene and the suspect proceeded to barricade himself and three others in the apartment – the woman, her male friend, and a 14 year old minor. Officers attempted to negotiate with Parris to leave the apartment or release the hostages in the building.

Fannin County and Polk County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on the scene to assist with the situation during this time.

After negotiations failed, McCaysville Officers, Fannin County Deputies, and Polk County Deputies entered the residence. They found Parris still holding his firearm. He refused to drop the weapon and pointed it at law enforcement in the room.

McCaysville Police then proceeded to shoot Parris, who was then taken into custody and transported to Kennestone hospital. At this time, he is in stable condition with a guard posted at his door.

Once recovered, Parris faces several charges including aggravated assault on peace officers, false imprisonment, first-degree cruelty to children, and burglary.

No officers were injured in this incident.

This marks Georgia’s 54th officer-involved shooting in 2019. GBI will handle the officer shooting side of the investigation while Detective Billy Brackett covers the home invasion and domestic violence side.

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Mass Shootings: Guns, Games, or God?

Opinion

Why is it that every time there is a shooting in this country, my feeds get flooded by blame. All I see is article after article on who or what I should be blaming for the latest shooting. “It’s because of video game violence!” “No, it’s the gun control laws!” “It’s about religion.” “Blame the parents.” “Blame the government.” “Blame anybody who doesn’t agree with me.”

Ultimately, I understand that people want to find a cause. That way they can turn off the valve, right? Cut off the source, stop the flow, end the violence. I need to run to the hospital for the whiplash as I get dragged in one direction after another. Is there a real answer, no. Maybe that’s why we’re all so confused.

In a society so focused on the individual, so inundated by the idea of one above all, there is no room left for love. Hate crimes, hate groups, home-grown terrorism, it all points to one thing for me. Stop being so selfish. We have so many people hating so much about this country, its people, its leaders, and its laws that I find no surprise anymore in these shootings.

How is a man supposed to respond to the world that he has found. And yes, I say ‘man.’ In 2019 alone, it seems like every time I look at a shooting of more than five people, its a guy. No, it’s not 100 percent, but it is overwhelming. When I look around, I see people screaming at each other about beliefs. Take a moment and search it yourself, I can promise you right now, I can find at least 20 videos of people filming with their phones a confrontation with people protesting. At least 18 of those videos are going to end up in screaming match with one or, more likely, both sides not even listening to each other.

It’s all about me today. I am god. I am the truth. How dare you not agree with me?

And if you are reading this thinking, “Oh, you tell those leftist idiots! They never listen.” Then you are part of the problem.

Again, if you are reading this thinking, “It’s about time someone stood up to those Right Wing nutjobs.” Then you, too, are part of the problem.

People talk about how racism is flooding our nation hating on Hispanics, degrading Blacks, ignoring Whites, and despising anyone else. Heck, I’m probably racist for not listing every single oppressed group like LGBTQ. But this is exactly the problem. We all hate everything that isn’t all about ‘me.’

Let me tell you about something I read on Social Media recently. It was a story about a teacher educating students on the Salem Witch Trials. I read that this teacher decided to play a game with the students. The teacher said they were going to go to each student in the class and whisper to them if they were a witch or a normal citizen.

The teacher proceeded until every student had a designation and then told them that they were to collect into groups. The largest group of students that didn’t have a witch in the group would receive an ‘A’ for the day. The rest of the students not in that group would fail. Likewise, if there was a witch in every group, then the witches would receive the ‘A’ and the other students would fail.

Soon, several groups had formed but quickly began distrusting anyone not already in their group. The hate spread quickly as they shunned each other for the slightest hints of being a ‘witch.’

As the time limit neared its end and the groups were solidifying into solid “cliques” of ‘us vs them.’ The teacher called for the students attention. The time of judgment had come. The teacher then asked every student who they had designated a witch to raise their hand…

The problem was that nobody raised a hand.

The students then turned on the teacher saying that the teacher had done something wrong and the game wasn’t fair. The teacher then explained, “Do you think there was actual witches anywhere in Salem? All I did was release you to act on what you were told, the same they did in Salem.”

Just like the students in this story, I find it quite telling how quickly people in this country abandon humanity. They lose cooperation in favor of segregation. You’re a republican so everything you say is biased drivel that promotes racism and gun violence. You’re a Liberal, so you must only be out to subvert society and erode life.

I feel like the more young people I talk to tend to identify as a middle ground or third party political standing. Maybe it has something to do with our society being more interested in classifying, separating, and statistically quantifying people so much that they are willing to listen to anything with numbers instead of sitting down and taking the time to understand the intricacies of each other.

We are selfish. Instead of generalizing those “Millenials” as lazy, greedy kids who want everything for free, listen to the underlying concerns of wanting to make things like healthcare and education more accessible so that the entire country can be healthier and more educated. Instead of calling those Second Amendment advocates violent sociopaths, try to understand the point that guns mean protection from intruders and shooters, but also from a government that may subdue the population and abuse their right to govern.

Don’t get caught up in the screaming, but also don’t passively agree just to avoid an argument. I know people who will continue arguing a debate just to argue and anger the other person. Even if these people know they are wrong, they don’t care, they don’t want to lose. They are selfish people who don’t build to an answer, they build tension.

One should go into a debate absolutely convinced of their belief with examples to support them, but they should also be open to listening and understanding the other side of the debate. A debate is not a fight, it’s a learning experience. I argue and debate with people to test my thoughts and beliefs. I may still come out believing what I believe or I may come out with a changed mind, but I always learn something and add to my knowledge.

And on that note, don’t degrade and put down people who change their minds. Maybe if we talk to people, try to understand them, they wouldn’t feel so alone with us and violent against us. Maybe we could reduce the mass shootings or find an actual answer instead of just blaming video games or gun laws.

Stop fighting against other groups and start intermingling because, I promise you people, there are no “witches” in this game.

Author

Gun Violence, The Solution is Found in the Facts.

Opinion

Gun Violence, The Solution is Found in the Facts.
Another shooting at a Synagog, this time in San Diego, in the Socialist State of California.
The radical Democrat party, determined to erase the 2nd Amendment from our US Constitution, promotes attacks against anything culturally significant as American, especially if it’s Jewish. A disarmed America is a safe America…for them. Total population control cannot be achieved so long as one free citizen remains armed. Because somebody shot back, an off duty Border Patrol officer in fact, that disrupted the killer, look for more armed parishioners in the pews.

With every shooting crime, the Democrats go nuts blaming conservatives and the NRA. It almost ranks up there disgustingly with Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinics for dastardly deaths. The history of self-defense gun use in America, is long and reflective of human nature. Just plain ol’ violence with or without guns, has left a not too proud trail of corpses in its wake, not as much as the Democrat abortion clinics I think, but enough to make ‘em squeamish. But, let’s look at the historical record.

In 1865 a Democrat radical shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln. In 1881 a Democrat radical shot President James Garfield who later died as a result of his injuries. In 1963 a radical left wing socialist shot and killed President John F. Kennedy. In 1975 a Democrat left wing radical fired shots at President Gerald Ford.

In 1983 a registered Democrat shot and wounded President Ronald Reagan. In 1984 James Hubert, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 22 people in a McDonalds restaurant. In 1986 Patrick Sherrill, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 15 people in an Oklahoma post office. In 1990 James Pough, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 10 people at a GMAC office. In 1991 George Hennard, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 23 people in a Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, TX. In 1995 James Daniel Simpson, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 5 coworkers in a Texas laboratory. In 1999 Larry Asbrook, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 8 people at a church service. In 2001 a radical left wing Democrat fired shots at the White House in a failed attempt to kill President George W. Bush. In 2003 Douglas Williams, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people at a Lockheed Martin manufacturing plant. In 2007 a registered Democrat named Seung – Hui Cho, shot and killed 32 people at Virginia Tech.

More? In 2010 a mentally ill registered Democrat named Jared Lee Loughner, shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 others. In 2011 a registered Democrat named James Holmes, shot up a movie theater killing12 people. In 2012 Andrew Engeldinger, another disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people in Minneapolis. In 2013 a crazy registered Democrat named Adam Lanza, shot and killed 26 people in a school in Newtown, CT. In 2013, Sept., an angry Democrat shot 12 at a Navy ship yard in Wash. DC.

Do we see a pattern here? Clearly, there is a problem with Democrats and guns. Statistically, the long and tawdry list of attackers and murderers does not included one NRA, Tea Party member or conservative Republican, as involved in any of these shootings and ghastly murders. The medias rhetoric constantly favors the radical Democrats claims about the desperate need for “gun control” and, every time they open their mouths to moan and whine about gun violence, gun sales rise, new range facilities are opened and proper instruction in gun safety, firearms handling and good marksmanship is offered. Gun Control is a stable platform.

The media purposely never reports on the many, near daily incidents, where people have successfully defended themselves or their families from attackers using firearms. More violence however, comes in different packages, like automobiles, baseball bats and knives than by firearms. Nearly every assault using firearm in America has been at the hands of Progressive, Liberals or radicalized haters of America. The facts speak for themselves.

But, Democrats focus on “gun” violence” and their solution is to completely disarm all Americans, (except their body guards) and punish any who disobey. Clearly, what is the fastest solution to solving Gun Violence? It’s apparent: It should be illegal for Democrats to own guns!

Remember, freedom is the goal, the Constitution is the way. Now, go get ‘em!

Author

Update – Fatal shooting in Fannin County

News, Police & Government

Blue Ridge, Ga – Update on Fannin County Murder Investigation.  GBI Press Release Dec. 5, 2018

 

Blue Ridge (December 4, 2018)- On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, the GBI and the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office arrested Blake Dickey AKA Blake Dye, 15, and Hunter Hill, 15, both of Blairsville, Georgia for the murder of Justin McKinney, 33 of Morganton, Georgia. They were each charged with one count of murder; however additional charges are pending.  Dye and Hill will be housed at the Elbert Shaw Regional Youth Detention Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, at approximately 1:38 AM, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested to assist the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office with a murder investigation.  At approximately 12:50 AM, the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the area of Elrod Lane, Morganton, Fannin County, Georgia.  Deputies were dispatched to the area as a result of a 911 call in which the caller indicated she and a male subject were shot.  When deputies arrived on scene, the male subject, McKinney was deceased.  The female, Anna Franklin, 35 of Morganton, Georgia was taken to the hospital for treatment.

McKinney’s autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, December 5, 2018.

Upon completion of the investigation, the case will be provided to the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney for prosecution                                                                                                                       Hill Booking Report

Dickey Booking Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initial report below:

Blue Ridge, Ga. – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office have confirmed that a fatal shooting took place in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Dec. 4.

According to a press release from GBI, a 911 call came into dispatch at approximately 12:50 a.m. The caller, a female victim, indicated that she and a male victim had been shot.

When deputies arrived to a home in the area of Elrod Lane, Morganton, Ga. the male subject was deceased. The female was taken to a hospital with trauma care for treatment.

Fannin County Sheriff’s Office did request additional assistance from GBI as is standard in cases of this nature.

Names are not being released of the victims at this time as it is an open and ongoing investigation. An autopsy of the male subject is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Dec. 5.

More details will be released to the public upon completion of the investigation.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

County officials discuss the safety of our local schools

Community, GMFTO

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, returned to class today, Feb. 28, just two short weeks after one of America’s deadliest mass shootings in modern history took place in their halls.

In the wake of this tragedy, which claimed 17 lives, discussion have opened up about school safety and what can be done to prevent situations like this from occurring in the future.

Brian K. Pritchard (BKP), chief executive officer of FetchYourNews and host of Good Morning From The Office morning show, invited local officials from Gilmer and Fannin counties to address the safety of our local school systems.

Georgia, Blue Ridge, Ellijay, Fannin County, Gilmer County, School Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Dr. Shanna Wilkes, Sheriff, Dane Kirby, Stacy Nicholson, School Resource Officer, SRO, Sergeant Greg Dodson, Lieutenant Darvin Couch, District Attorney, B. Alison Sosebee, Parkland, Florida, Shooting, School Safety, Appalachian Judicial Circuit

County officials from both Fannin and Gilmer counties met to discuss the safety of our schools.

In opening the discussion, BKP directly asked both Gilmer and Fannin County School superintendents how safe do they feel the schools in our area are.

Fannin County School Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney answered from a personal perspective: “My child is in a Fannin County school this morning.”

“We are always vigilant in watching what’s going on with our students, watching what’s going on on social media,” Gilmer County School Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes said, explaining why she too felt the schools in her county were safe, “and staying in constant contact with our law enforcement.”

“What I feel has come out of Parkland (shooting) is a breakdown in the system,” BKP pointed out to the guest panel and questioned how officials have addressed any recent incidents.

Gilmer County Sheriff Stacy Nicholson replied that his department has had to respond to incidents almost daily for the past two weeks, but clarified that most complaints are not serious.

“The problem is law enforcement can no longer say that’s not serious. We have to take it serious,” Nicholson explained.

Modern times are different according to Nicholson and he stressed, “Pranks are no longer pranks. When it comes to school safety we will investigate and we will prosecute and arrest or send you to juvenile court.”

Many counties in Georgia do not have school resource officers (SRO) assigned to every school in their district. Fortunately, for both Fannin and Gilmer, this is not the case. All schools within each system has its own SRO, and all panel members feel that this is a major element in keeping our schools safe.

Georgia, Blue Ridge, Ellijay, Fannin County, Gilmer County, School Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Dr. Shanna Wilkes, Sheriff, Dane Kirby, Stacy Nicholson, School Resource Officer, SRO, Sergeant Greg Dodson, Lieutenant Darvin Couch, District Attorney, B. Alison Sosebee, Parkland, Florida, Shooting, School Safety, Appalachian Judicial Circuit

Gilmer County SRO Sgt. Greg Dodson discussed SRO training and duties.

“Are all the SRO officers armed this morning?” BKP directly asked the panel. Both Nicholson and Fannin County Sheriff Dane Kirby replied that all officers on all campuses were armed.

Gilmer County School Resource Officer Sergeant Greg Dodson explained the duties of an SRO: “A very large part of the job is visual security. It’s patrolling the interior and exterior of the school, checking doors, making sure that they’re locked, trying to monitor who comes and goes.”

“If you see someone at the schools that you don’t recognize, make sure they have a visitor pass, that they’ve gone through the office properly,” Dodson added.

Other duties include checking parking lots, bathrooms, hallways, and interacting and developing relationships with the students.

In Gilmer County, to become an SRO, a deputy must submit a formal letter requesting that position. A panel of the officer’s peers then formally recommends who they feel should be placed in that position. Sheriff Nicholson makes a final decision based on the panel’s recommendations.

Fannin County Sheriff Dane Kirby confirmed that the process in Fannin County is very similar to Gilmer County and added, “That’s not a job (SRO) that you have just to draw a paycheck. That has to be something that the deputy wants to do.”

“From the very get go, it has to be what that person really wants to do,” Kirby said, explaining that the SROs in place are not only trained but also have a passion for that particular field.

Training for an SRO goes beyond that of a police academy. This training includes a School Resource Officer course, Crisis Intervention Training, Gun Safety, and in-service training such as active shooter scenarios.

Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee was present to discuss the legal aspects of threats against a school and what her department does in collaboration with law enforcement to combat any potential crimes.

“I just need one referral to start. I need one concerned student. I need one diligent parent. That’s what allows us to be able to initiate the investigation and to assess what we need to do next,” Sosebee described of the process of how her department can become involved.

Georgia, Blue Ridge, Ellijay, Fannin County, Gilmer County, School Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Dr. Shanna Wilkes, Sheriff, Dane Kirby, Stacy Nicholson, School Resource Officer, SRO, Sergeant Greg Dodson, Lieutenant Darvin Couch, District Attorney, B. Alison Sosebee, Parkland, Florida, Shooting, School Safety, Appalachian Judicial Circuit

Fannin County Sheriff Dane Kirby and Gilmer County Sheriff Stacy Nicholson address law enforcement’s role in providing safety for our schools.

Sosebee said we are fortunate to live in a smaller community where residents feel comfortable speaking up when there is an incident that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Confirming Sosebee’s thoughts on residents willing to tip off authorities, Gilmer County School Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes said, “In my experience, when we’ve had a threat that we needed to investigate, I have not gotten it from one person. I get it from 50 people within about an hour.”

“No matter how good you are technologically, there is no substitution for a good tip,” Fannin County School Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney expressed in similar views.

Both Fannin and Gilmer County school systems continue to take steps to improve safety measures in their schools. Gwatney is looking into extra safety measures using technology. This would include a large network of monitoring devices.

Wilkes is working to renovate Gilmer High School. She would like to implement scan cards for access to doors and is working to restructure the building to create a single point of entry through the front office.

With large campuses and multiple buildings, BKP asked, “Would you look at letting teachers or putting that program into place at your schools to allow weapons in there and how would it work?”

Texas has legislation, School Marshal, to allow teachers to carry weapons on campus, and Florida recently passed similar legislation. Currently in Georgia, there is no statewide legislation on the issue, but rather Georgia allows local school districts to create their own policies regarding this matter.

Gilmer County has looked at sample legislation from other counties in the past, but never voted to enact a policy. Wilkes said that she would favor a policy that would require the individual to qualify with a firearm and that would obligate the individual to attend an annual firearm training course.

Wilkes also would like there to be anonymity in which teachers are armed within the school.

“It would have to be very regulated. It takes the right person, like it takes the right SRO,” Wilkes shared of her stance.

Gwatney was not opposed to the idea but does not want it to negatively affect an educator’s job: “The purpose of a teacher to care for the kids and teach for the kids. We don’t want to create a situation where we force the teacher to try to take on a law enforcement role.”

The panel also expressed frustrations on a system that sometimes works against them in their efforts to keep our children safe.

On a criminal level, Sheriff Nicholson expressed disappointment in a system that seems increasingly unwilling to keep a juvenile in detainment: “It’s getting harder and harder to get someone detained. That’s frustrating.”

Georgia, Blue Ridge, Ellijay, Fannin County, Gilmer County, School Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Dr. Shanna Wilkes, Sheriff, Dane Kirby, Stacy Nicholson, School Resource Officer, SRO, Sergeant Greg Dodson, Lieutenant Darvin Couch, District Attorney, B. Alison Sosebee, Parkland, Florida, Shooting, School Safety, Appalachian Judicial Circuit

BKP’s All Star Panel questions officials on a number of issues that the school systems face in regard to safety.

Sosebee confirmed Nicholson’s frustration and explained, “Part of that, the court system with relation to that, is the restrictions that are put on the court system as to when these juveniles can be detained and when they cannot be detained and that is where a lot of the hands tying is coming from, from the court system.”

Just like law enforcement, the school systems feel that there is legislation and policy in place that ties their hands when they witness “red flags”.

BKP pointed out the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which has grown since it was first enacted and states that schools being a government agency must accommodate individuals with diagnosed disabilities.

Wilkes acknowledged that the ADA does play a heavy role in how schools can handle disciplinary situations: “In many cases, you’re dealing with students who have a disability such as an emotional behavioral disorder, which falls under special education.”

In such cases, if a student makes a threat or acts in a way that requires disciplinary action, the school must first have a Manifestation Hearing.

In a Manifestation Hearing, a panel is made up of a licensed school psychologist, the student’s special education case manager, a teacher that works directly with the student, an administrator, and the parents or guardians of the child.

The panel determines if the threat or infraction is directly related to the student’s disability. If it is deemed that it is in relation to the disability, then disciplinary action cannot be taken.

If it is deemed that the issue is not related to the child’s disability, then a tribunal is formed to determine what disciplinary actions should be taken.

“If a student has any disability at all,” Wilkes clarified, “even if it’s a learning disability in reading, and let’s say they try to burn down the school, then we have to have a manifestation hearing to see if that learning disability led to them trying to burn down the school.”

Due to this process and the strict rules surrounding juvenile privacy, Wilkes stated if it is related to a disability “our hands are tied as to what we can do.”

The panel agreed that collaboration between departments along with a proactive stance on safety is the best route to take when it comes to the welfare of our counties’ children but felt that changes could be made in legislation that would make providing our schools with this security a much more efficient process.

You can watch BKP’s Good Morning From The Office #AnythingGoes School Safety Special in the video below.

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Shooting at Dalton High School

News

DALTON, Ga. – The Dalton Police Department is on scene at Dalton High School where shots have been fired.

Dalton Police report that no student was injured by the shooting and all students are out of harm’s way. They also report the subject, a teacher, has been taken into custody.

The subject had barricaded themselves into a classroom earlier today before firing a weapon. Local police and Georgia State Patrol responded to the initial call. Concerning those reports that have come about a student injured during the evacuation, the Dalton Police were adamant that no student was injured by the shooting.

Police are also asking parents to NOT go to Dalton High School as they say, “The area inside the school has been evacuated and there are no students believed to be in the school at this time.”

The evacuated students have been taken to the Northwest Georgia Trade Center where police report parents should go for their children.

Author

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