Student expelled from Myrtle Beach school for not reporting gun. Says he was threatened

A Myrtle Beach Middle School student who was expelled for not reporting that another classmate brought a gun to school has appealed the decision in court.

The student, listed only as “John Doe,” was expelled after an incident that occurred on Feb. 6, 2024, in which a student managed to bring a firearm and ammunition to school in a see-through bag before school officials discovered it.

The student went through a metal detector and showed the gun to other students. That student is facing criminal charges and expulsion of at least one year, according to the school system’s email.

A message to Horry County Schools was not immediately returned.

John Doe was expelled through the remainder of the fourth quarter of the 2023-24 school year for failing to report his knowledge of the gun to school authorities, according to the appeal. The student showed the gun to John Doe and allowed John Doe to touch the gun at a cafeteria table, according to the court document.

John Doe told school authorities that he though the gun was “fake” and after thought it was “real.” He claims he was threatened by the armed student and that is why he did not say anything about it, according to the document.

John Doe is also a non-English speaking student and he believed that he would get in trouble if he reported the gun, according to the document.

The appeal claims that the Myrtle Beach Middle School general procedures are vague and does not put the student on “sufficient notice” as to what it requires the student to report and what the consequences are for failure to do so.

In addition, neither the law, district policy or the Student Behavior code creates “an affirmative duty that requires a student to report that a gun is in the possession of another student,” the appeal says.

The incident has raised security concerns within Horry County Schools. The school district has taken additional security measures including requiring clear backpacks at all schools for the upcoming school year and requesting funding for security staff to perform daily searches throughout the school day.

The school district had said at that time that it was concerning that students were aware of the armed student’s intent to bring a weapon onto campus before Feb. 6, 2024, but none of them came forward to alert authorities.

It is unclear if any other students who saw the weapon were expelled as well.