Student charged with felony for taking explosive to school

Published 4:17 pm Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Clanton Middle School student who allegedly brought an explosive to school last week faces a felony charge, according to police.

Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell said the student, a seventh grader, has been charged with possession of a destructive device, a felony. His case will be processed through juvenile court.

Officers responded to the school on the morning of Feb. 7 at the request of faculty and spoke with the student in question, who was already being held by faculty.

The school was placed on “lockdown” while officers searched for the device, which was located in possession of the student.

The device was described by police as being a “Play-Doh” can, about 1.5 inches in diameter, with three fireworks fuses inserted in a hole in the top. The container was filled with 18 grams of pyrotechnic powder and 4.2 grams of bird shot.

Stilwell said there was no indication the student intended to detonate the explosive at school.

The student was taken into custody and transferred to a juvenile detention facility in Montgomery, Stilwell said.

Chilton County Schools Superintendent Dave Hayden said he could not comment about any potential discipline the student could face from the school system.

An administrative hearing would take place at some point to decide the student’s punishment, Hayden said.

“I don’t think there was an ill intent, but we can’t have that sort of thing at school,” he said.

Hayden said that the day of the incident, schools employees complied with police in handling the situation.

“To begin with, we didn’t know what we had,” Hayden said. “We turned it over to the police and let them handle it. We did exactly what they said.”

Once the explosive was recovered and the student taken into custody, the concern about student safety was eased, Hayden said.

Parents were not notified of the school being locked down, and school was not let out early.