COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – The associate superintendent for Columbia County schools is responding to arrests made after an incident at Evans High School on Tuesday.
Stephon Lee Townsend is facing weapons and trespassing charges. Cameron David Peebles is charged with affray and trespassing.
A letter sent out to Evans High parents on Tuesday states the two suspects are not students at the school. It states the school’s parking lot monitor alerted the school district’s police after Townsend and Peebles refused to leave campus during dismissal.
“He approached the vehicle, and asked what they were doing there and they said they were there to pick up a student or what have you,” said Penny Jackson, the associate superintendent for Columbia County. “He re-directed them to the car line as he would with any car that’s not supposed to be there.”
After initiating a fight, they tried to run away, but were stopped by school district police in a nearby parking lot. That’s where the letter stated police found Townsend had a gun.
No verbal threats were made against students or staff.
“I thought they did a very good job, from the parking lot attendant up through the SRO and our administration,” Jackson said. “And certainly the students and staff that were involved did what they needed to do. The situation, and bad as it was, was cleared up and out.”
Jackson credits the parking lot monitor – a new addition to Columbia County high schools – as one reason the situation panned out the way it did.
“We’ve had them at all five of our high schools since the beginning of the school year,” she said. “And they on a daily-basis monitor the parking lot, the coming and going of students, making sure students are getting in and out of their vehicles, getting to class. They’re monitoring deliveries, anything that goes on in that parking lot – they’re our eyes and ears.”
Jackson wants to send out a reminder to parents.
“As much as they can educate their children on all the different safety measures they need to have in place,” she said. “And to be aware, there’s no reason for them to ever have anything in their possession that could do harm or could harm others.”
Townsend is being held at the Columbia County Detention Center, Peebles has been released. A police report hasn’t been released yet.