Felony Charges Filed Over Two Knives Found At Decatur High School

Principal urges parents to talk with their kids about weapons on campus.

Update: Decatur police provided Patch with these investigation reports Friday afternoon.

Two Decatur High students were arresed after faculty members found them carrying knives on campus this week, Decatur police said.

The knives were confiscated and nobody was injured.

George Edward Click, 18, and Forrest Hevener, 17, both face felony charges as adults, according to Keith Lee, assistant chief for the Decatur Police Department.

According to reports issued by Decatur police:

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, Assistant Principal Rochelle Lofstrand noticed the metal clip of a pocket knife on George Edward Click's pants pocket at lunchtime. It was a three-and-a-half-inch brown and silver pocket knife.

She asked why he bought the knife to school and he couldn't articulate a reason. When asked if he brought it for protection, he said no. When asked if he liked to use it outdoors, he said yes.

The knife was taken and given to the school resource officer. Click, a resident of Columbia Drive, was handcuffed and taken to the Decatur police station, then the DeKalb County Jail.

He was charged with carrying a weapon within a school safety zone.

On Wednesday about 1:15 p.m., drama teacher Lynn Hoskings, observed a black object fall from Forrest Hevener's pocket during an improptu dramatization.

She asked about the object and the student immediately responded, "I'm not going to do anything with it."  He handed over a "butterfly knife" with a three-and-a-half inch blade.

Hoskings put the knife into her desk drawer and locked it. About 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Hoskings turned the knife over to Assistant Principal, Arlethea Williams. When the school resource officer asked what caused the delay, Hoskings said she had to leave campus to pick up a sick child.

Willams called Principal Lauri McKain about 7 p.m. Wednesday to inform her of the incident. McKain and the school resource officer discussed the second knife incident about 7 a.m. Thursday.

About 6:15 p.m. Thursday, the school resource officer met with a municipal judge who issued a warrant for carrying a weapon within a school safety zone.

Hevener was taken to the DeKalb County Jail and booked on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

On Thursday, Decatur High Principal Lauri McKain posted this message on Bloggin' Bulldog, her blog.

Twice in the past week we have found students to be in possession of a weapon on school campus. In both cases it was a knife. Though I don’t believe there was an imminent threat in either situation, the consequences are difficult to digest.

According to our Code of Conduct, this violation constitutes a Level III disciplinary action; the consequences may result in long term suspension (i.e., a suspension for more than ten days), alternative school, or expulsion. As you know, weapons on school campus also carry criminal penalties, often considered a felony offense.

In my experience, parents are generally aware that their son/daughter has a knife (boy scouts, hiking, etc.), and I know students are aware that they should not be at school.

Please have conversations at home about the consequences of having weapons on school campus. The laws are very strict, designed to maintain safety on school campus. We do not have the luxury of dismissing weapons cases, and it is nearly impossible to determine intent.

Going to a disciplinary hearing of this weight is one of my least favorite responsibilities as a school leader. However, when faced with the issue, it is what must happen. I write this to appeal to you as a school community to discuss this issue with your children.

My hope is that doing so will not only ensure the safety of our school, but will also help ensure our young people are aware of the weight of such a mistake.

Deanne January 29, 2012 at 06:11 PM
I truly feel for the stresses both families are under, and hope that this ends with both teens being able to have their records expunged should the court system uphold the no weapons policy. (I think it's important that they do, but I also hope there's a forgiveness provision for "when you know better, you do better".) I'd like to offer that Patch across all of its versions seems to hold to traditional media reporting standards when covering Police & Fire. As editor and a professional, Ralph's going to continue to politely take the blows, but he can't dictate Patch policies. Patch.org is an AOL branch with its own team. However, big companies DO listen if approached respectfully, so it's worth it for us readers to make the effort to ask Patch's board to reconsider the rule on giving teens' names when charged. Here's the info with contacts: http://www.patch.com/about.
Deanne January 29, 2012 at 08:09 PM
(Awkward, but...) As a regular reader of Decatur- Avondale Estates Patch, I think it's a wonderful addition to our community. I like the informal reporting style and the range of things covered, and I enjoy being looped to neighboring communities' coverage on stories that are relevant to us all. In addition to news and updates, I always look forward to seeing what Patch's bloggers will bring us next! Hopefully, most of us see the good in what these talented local writers are trying to do. Will we all like what they write every time? No, but I hope we'll be willing to consider that it's done in the spirit of sharing newsworthy news, not as a means to draw readers at any cost. As for Ralph Ellis, having had the opportunity to meet him and exchange ideas on community, I can't say enough about how highly I think of him. He's a super nice guy who brings heart and skill to his reporting and being editor, and his guiding principle for Patch is to see that it's a reliable hub for learning about community happenings (good, bad, or sad) and engaging in conversation if we'd like. Patch offers a unique way of connecting folks with all sorts of backgrounds and perspectives, and I truly appreciate it for all of its possibilities.
Deanne January 30, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Uh...okay. It's kind of a leap to decide that you know most folks' feelings about Patch or some folks' reasons for reading it. (How much time do you spend thinking about Patch anyway? You sure seem to be working yourself into a lather over something you consider pablum... different strokes, I guess!)
no name June 03, 2012 at 03:58 PM
This is a horrible article. But, what makes it worse is that one of the accused had his picture posted. I happen to have known this young and his family for many years. This was so disrespectful. I hope you realize what you have done to this family. Shame on you.
No name September 25, 2012 at 09:21 PM
A horrid peace, written by an even more disrepectful scum, you call a veteran reporter, bs


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