CAIRO — An 18-year-old Cairo High School student has been charged with having a firearm on school property.

A juvenile student who also had a firearm at school last week has been suspended and will go before a tribunal. The case will be disposed of in Juvenile Court.

The school was locked down Monday morning. Students placed their book bags outside classrooms to be searched by school personnel.

Officers from the Grady County Sheriff’s Office and Cairo Police Department were present during the search.

Derrick Majors, Grady County Board of Education chairman, said noting “of grave concern” was found Monday.

A couple of knives, lighters, vape oil and vape pens were found.

Last Thursday, the juvenile had a loaded .22-caliber firearm at the school.

The next day, a student was acting strangely. The assistant principal found marijuana and a firearm in the student’s possession, Majors said.

When students were found in possession of firearms on two consecutive days, the Monday search was scheduled to look for other possible contraband, said school Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard.

Random searches will be conducted at Cairo High the remainder of the school year, Gilliard said, adding that all Grady County schools are locked down and searched once a year.

“Safety is a priority for us in Grady County,” he added.

Majors said hand wands will be used, if necessary, to prevent recurring campus firearm incidents. 

The school board chairman has two sons who attend Cairo High, one a senior, the other a freshman.

“It’s a scary thought to know it’s out there and more scary to know it’s making it’s way into schools,” Majors said.

He expressed gratitude to local law enforcement agencies and school resource officers for assistance n the Monday lockdown.

“It was mainly a show of force,” said Capt. Daniel Singletary, sheriff’s office chief investigator. “We’re going to back the board of education and school police. It’s all about the kids. That’s our main focus.”

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