Pelion, SC (Paul Kirby) – The investigation into rumors that a student at Pelion Middle School brought brass knuckles to the campus on Thursday has resulted in the suspension of the student who has also has been recommended for expulsion. Administrators, acting in accordance with District One’s Board policies and procedures, were diligent in getting the to the bottom of this quickly.
The District’s employees were fully cooperative with law enforcement during the investigation. When they received tips from students about the accusations, they immediately informed the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department of the reports, collected witness's statements, and contacted the student’s parents.
Friday, PMS administrators reviewed the witness's statements and filed an incident report. They also interviewed the student, a sixth grader, who admitted to being in possession of the brass knuckles on campus. The school and law enforcement officers concluded their investigation. That resulted in the student being removed from the campus under the suspension protocol. An expulsion hearing will be held as soon as possible. Meanwhile, he is not allowed on any Lexington District One property or at any events while suspended. He will not be identified because of his age.
PMS’s Principal Kailanya Brailey said in an e-mail to parents Friday that this situation was also an isolated incident. There were no witness's statements that indicated that the student made references to threats or bullied another student or any staff member.
Brailey made it clear that the school encourages students to report any safety concerns to a school administrator, the School Resource Officer, school counselors, teachers or any other employee immediately. She asked that parents please remind their children that if they are uncomfortable reaching out to an employee, the district also has a district-wide Tip Line where they can submit a report by telephone. They simply need to call 803-636-8317 and leave a message. They can also text details of their concern to 803-636-8317; or email their concern to firstname.lastname@example.org. The District's Safety Officer, a person with years of law enforcement experience, or another District Office administrator will respond within a very short time to your message.
In other similar instances that have occurred district wide, Chief Communications Officer Mary Beth Hill has stressed that the District’s first priority is the safety of the students, faculty, and administrators of the schools. She has said repeatedly that if students and staff members don’t feel safe, the schools cannot provide an environment that is conducive to learning or teaching.
The board has a strict zero tolerance policy regarding threats and weapons on school grounds. That policy can be reviewed on the District’s website at lexington1.net.