Man arrested for having gun on school grounds

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 9, 2006

Police have arrested a man for carrying a handgun on the Greenville High School campus while conducting contract work.

Dallo Johnson, 32, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly bringing a small loaded pistol onto the campus. According to Butler County Superintendent Mike Looney, Johnson was hired by the Board of Education to do grounds work at GHS.

&#8220We were using him as a substitute maintenance worker,” said Looney. &#8220We want to make it clear that Mr. Johnson never threatened anyone and was very easy to deal with. He had the handgun in his back pocket. We asked him if we could see it, he removed it and we confiscated it.”

Johnson is currently being held at the Butler County Jail on $10,000 bond.

Looney said Johnson was outside and weed eating around a light pole when officials approached him about the weapon. Looney said he received an anonymous tip that Johnson may have a weapon in his possession.

&#8220This is not a good thing that happened, but I think it's an indication that our school safety plans are working,” said Looney. &#8220The message is that we will prosecute anyone that has a weapon on school grounds.”

Still, with the recent shootings in Colorado and Pennsylvania, Looney admitted there's little officials can do should an individual decide to attack a school. Last week, 32-year-old Charles Carl Roberts killed five students in a Pennsylvania school before shooting himself. A week prior to that, a shooter took several girls hostage at a school in Englewood, Colorado before killing one 16-year-old girl then himself when police raided the classroom he was in.

&#8220Schools, by nature, are vulnerable institutions,” he said. &#8220It's almost like going to any public place where there are a lot of people present - like a grocery store. But we do have safety plans in place. The recent school shootings are tragic and a clear reminder that we must continue to make school safety a central focus of our work in Butler County Schools.

Over the course of the past year we have worked hard on several fronts to ensure our schools are safe places for students and teachers to work, learn, and grow together.

Recent national incidents of violence at schools have prompted Governor Bob Riley and State Superintendent of Education Dr. Joe Morton to remind Alabamians of the state's &#8220Safe Schools Hotline.” The toll-free hotline was created in 1999 and provides students and adults a way to anonymously alert officials with information and tips regarding potential incidents of school-related violence.

&#8220The tragedies we've witnessed at other schools are heartbreaking.

I know everyone in Alabama joins me and Patsy in grieving for the victims of these senseless acts of violence.

These tragedies also serve as a reminder that tools are available to help make our schools safer.

One of these tools is the Safe Schools Hotline, and I hope all Alabamians are aware of it and will use it if they have any information, any inkling at all, that a violent situation may take place at a school,” Riley said.

The statewide Safe Schools Hotline is 1-888-SAV-KIDS (888-728-5437).

It is operated by the Alabama Department of Public Safety's Missing and Exploited Children's Unit.

By calling this toll-free hotline, Alabama students, parents and concerned citizens may report their school safety-related information and concerns 24-hours a day.