Thursday, May 25, 2006

9th-grader arrested after explosive found on field

A ninth-grader at a private school in Fairburn has been arrested after he allegedly brought a bomb to school.

The Landmark Christian School student, whom police did not identify, has been charged with bringing an explosive device on campus. If convicted, he faces fines of up to $20,000 and jail time, said Fairburn Police Capt. J.T. Rogers. The boy was released to his parents.

A teacher found the device Monday under the bleachers at the football field during field day activities, Rogers said.

Landmark Christian School Headmaster Matt Skinner said school officials alerted authorities. About 600 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12 were evacuated, he said.

Rogers said the Fulton County Sheriff's Office bomb technician who disassembled the bomb said the device had "minimum potential of causing any type of serious damage."

"If someone had personal contact with the device, it would injure them if it went off. But we're not talking about taking out a building," Rogers said.

Fairburn was assisted by Fulton County Police Department and MARTA police who supplied bomb-sniffing dogs.

Skinner said the student placed the device as a joke.

"He indicated he was a little surprised by the reaction," Skinner said.

The student will not return to class this school year, which ends Friday. Skinner said the school had not decided how or whether he will be punished.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the kid and the family," Skinner said.



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