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Teen charged after "shank" found at Science Hill Alternative Center

Rex Barber • Aug 7, 2013 at 10:24 PM

A screwdriver altered to be a “shank” was found in a bathroom at the Science Hill High School Alternative Center Wednesday morning, resulting in a felony citation for a teenager.

Johnson City police said around 9 a.m. Wednesday the school resource officer at the center got a phone call from a probation officer who said a male student may have a weapon hidden in his shoe.

The shank was soon found in the men’s restroom at the school.

A 17-year-old male was cited for felony possession of a weapon on school property.

The teen was released to the custody of his guardian.

A court date was scheduled in Johnson City Juvenile Court on Aug. 16.

Johnson City Director of Schools Richard Bales said the student could face discipline from the school system outside of the court system.

“It will depend on what happens legally, because it’s a police matter...,” Bales said.

He did say the student could be suspended for up to 180 days.

Bales had no additional information regarding the shank and why it was on school property.

“I do know there were no other students involved,” he said.

The Alternative Center is located in the old Henry Johnson school building at 820 W. Market St.

According to a website about the center, around 200 students in grades 8 through 12 attend the facility throughout the school year. Bales said the Alternative Center is for students with attendance or behavioral issues.

Bales said most of the time that all schools within the system are quite.

“Any time there’s a weapon involved or anything that could be a weapon we involve the police,” Bales said.

He said the school resource officer finding the shank shows the benefit of such a position in a school.

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