DALTON, Ga. — Two Northwest Whitfield High School students were detained Friday and turned over to Whitfield County Juvenile Court after a student brought a loaded handgun to school to use as “an intimidation technique toward two other students” there following an off-campus drug deal last week, according to Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood.

Both students are juveniles. Law enforcement did not release their names.

The sheriff’s office received a call at around 9 a.m. about a weapon found at the school. Investigators determined that a student gave another student a 40-caliber Glock handgun last week. The student gave the other student the gun knowing it would be used to intimidate the two students.

The gun was never taken out of the student’s backpack, it was not shown to anyone at the school nor was it used to threaten students or staff, said Judy Gilreath, Whitfield County Schools superintendent.

“The weapon was immediately confiscated and the school resource officer secured it,” Gilreath said. “At no time was the gun ever brought out at school to threaten other students.”

The student who had the gun was suspected of having drugs, Gilreath said. When the student’s bookbag was searched, no drugs were found, but the student had the gun in the backpack, she said.

“Northwest High and Whitfield County Schools are committed to the safety and education of our students,” Gilreath said. “We always want to clearly communicate with our parents about safety issues.”

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