Pittsylvania Co., VA - Officials say fast action helped avoid a very dangerous situation at Dan River High School. They say a student was taken into custody Wednesday after showing up to school with a loaded shot gun in his truck.
The student was already on suspension and was not supposed to be on school grounds. In addition to the shotgun, police say the student also had brass knuckles, a knife and alcohol.
Sheriff Mike Taylor praised the actions of the resource officer and says incidents like this show just how important those officers are.
"I feel that the systems in place were able to work to intervene in this situation," said Principal Steve Mayhew.
Mayhew says students alerted members of the Dan River High School staff that a suspended student was on school property Wednesday morning. Mayhew credits the efficient handling of the situation to the school resource officer and his rapport with the students.
"Having him as a resource here, students are comfortable and feel like they can report things to him where they sometimes may not want to report things to the administration," said Mayhew.
Officials do not want to speculate on the student's intentions for coming on campus with weapons. But some say this is just another example of why the county needs Sheriff Mike Taylor's new school safety initiative, which includes having a resource officer in each county school.
"Our community is no different from the Sandy Hook's, the Columbine's. We're no different than any other jurisdiction," said Taylor.
The sheriff is continuing to work to find funding for the initiative - that also includes metal detectors, locked vestibules and surveillance cameras. He says his priority is to make sure students and staff are safe, and he is glad his deputies are carrying out that mission.
"They saw this school's resource officer as their protector and they confided in him, and I am so thankful for that."
The sheriff's office is continuing to investigate the reason for the student coming on campus Wednesday.
He was taken to a juvenile detention center in Danville.
Dan River High School officials would not comment on the student's past disciplinary record.