Student Accidentally Shoots Herself at Grady High

Police say the 17-year-old student accidentally shot herself in her leg. They confiscated a pink-colored .380-caliber handgun.

ATLANTA, GA -- A 17-year-old student shot herself in the upper leg Wednesday morning on the grounds of Grady High School, in what police are calling an accidental shooting.

The shooting occurred on the Grady High School campus in the courtyard outside the buidlings.

Police identified the student as Morgan Tukes. She faces charges of Carrying Weapons within a School Safety Zone, Reckless Conduct, Possession of a Pistol by a Minor and Disruption of a Public School.

In Georgia, 17-year-olds charged with felonies are treated as adults by the court system. However, 17-year-olds cannot legally posess handguns and are referred to as minors in the case of that statute. After receiving medical treatment, Tukes was taken to the Fulton County Jail.

Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said units responded to a shooting call at the school around 9:40 am.

"Preliminary information is that the gunshot was accidental and self-inflicted," Campos said, who added that the student was transported to Grady Hospital in stable condition, and the weapon has been recovered.

"At this time there is no reason to believe there is an active shooter on campus or other injuries to students," Campos said.

Police said they seized a pink colored .380-caliber Taurus handgun.

Around 11:45 a.m., APS released the following statement: "The school immediately moved into crisis management mode, alerting parents and working hand in hand with the APD. Parents were contacted via phone call, text and email, twice, within one hour of the incident. Normal classes will resume at 12:00 noon and normal dismissal procedures will be followed."

Students were given the option to leave for the day and numerours students and parents were observed leaving.

Police had the school's entrance on 10th Street, and 8th Street between Charles Allen Drive and Vedado Way, blocked off until around 11:15 a.m. when parents were allowed in the school. Before such, several parents said they were anxious to hear more details as they waited outside the school.

“I’m afraid, not just for my daughter but because we don’t know who that gun was intended for,’’ said Tara Taylor, who has a senior at Grady. “Was she showing off or was it intended for a person? What was she thinking? Is there someone else waiting in there now and now they see that they can’t get away with it and are just sitting in there? What’s really going on?”

APS school board chairman Rueben McDaniel came upon the scene at about the that time parents were allowed in the school.

“Quite frankly, my stomach sickens every time I hear anything that happens to a child like this. And to me that that’s the first place where the tragedy is – what’s going on with the child or this group of children.”

McDaniel said that he didn’t have all the facts of Wednesday’s incident, but indicated the APS board was committed to continue working on ensuring students’ safety.

“Every time something happens you evaluate more, but after the last incident at Price (Middle School) you lockdown hard. So we’re looking at other things, but we don’t want to have a police-stated school. That’s not what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Last month, a student was shot and a teacher injured at Price Middle School in southeast Atlanta.

Grady High is a school that usually makes headlines for high achievement, including its award-winning debate students, robotics team and student journalists.

See also:
Grady Mock Trial

Team Wins 14th Consecutive Regional Competition

77 Grady High School Students Earned AP Scholar Awards

Six Seniors from Grady High School Named

2013 National Merit Scholarship Finalists

Grady High Named as an AP Honor School

Jennifer March 01, 2013 at 09:39 PM
Jh312, what would be really embarrassing for APS is if they ignored the logical solution to the overcrowding at Inman Middle, which is to use land APS already owns at DT Howard, in favor of some ridiculous add-to-Inman-Middle-but-let's-not-have-any-outdoor-space-and-eat-lunch-at-9 am proposal put forth by parents who would rather their kids suffer through that than go to school in a certain part of town.
Jh312 March 01, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Systemic poverty is caused by elected officials who see a certain population as incapable of doing anything more than accepting a handout; yet, those officials keep getting reelected. I doubt that any of those 'beat the odds' stories involve throwing more money at a kid (or adding a .5 to his GPA like they did when I was in college). Usually, it involves someone (teacher, coach, etc.) who shows the kid the value of discipline and accountability.
Southern Hope March 01, 2013 at 09:55 PM
JH, i hear what you're saying.....but its really complex. I would be surprised if there are more than just a few folks in the grady/inman district who are taking what you're calling handouts (do you mean welfare?) ...it's more just working poor....and I agree that spending more per student is not the answer. The kids I"ve seen helped as ones that a teacher stepped up for (as you note) but even the superstar teachers can't help more than 2 or 3 kids a year this way...it takes a special teacher & a special kid. Back to the homework thing....my 3 kids are all great at math but I have to trace that almost 100% back to my husband...who's great at math....they didn't inherit it from him...he sat down at the table and helped them night after night. Had I been a single mom, they would have been terrible math students....partly because i'm a terrible math student...and partly because I wouldn't have had time. Anyway, like i say, it's really complicated once you're in the middle of it.
Asa March 01, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Good one Gabe, Thanks for putting 'work several times as hard' and 'shouldn't have to' in the same sentence. I love it!!! People who built this country weren't 'affluent white kids from the suburbs'...coming to this country (separated from their families at very young age many times) they had five time as bad as 'cycle of systemic poverty' (btw, cry me a river) that you are referring to: no welfare, no free health care, no police protection, no formal education...a lot of them were rejected by Europe. You know what else they didn't have, sense of entitlement...and that in part what made people successful, because they realized that THEY HAD to WORK more than several times as HARD in order to survive. What does a comparison of the effort to an 'affluent white kids from the suburbs' does?!?!...it SUFFOCATES your effort, as you are busy sitting and complaining how it is not fare. P.S. Wasting your time reading Karl Marx and Lenin...look where it got Soviet Union to (just in case: it fell apart and people are trying to rebuild using many parts of the capitalistic model...where you have to work very, very hard).
Jennifer March 01, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Oh, hey, Mitt. Glad to see you've gotten back up, dusted yourself off and resurfaced somewhere other than CPAC. People never get tired of hearing you talk about the 47%.
Jh312 March 01, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Southern Hope, I get it. Why can't these kids be put into an alternative learning environment, as young as possible? If appropriate, they can eventually go back to a mainstream classroom. Why is the administration is so resistant to having any separation when it makes good sense? I know for a fact that classrooms in the SE cluster (and increasingly at Inman) are being held hostage by kids with severe disciplinary issues. After a long song and dance of documentation and multiple layers of red tape, they go right back into the regular class and continue to wreak havoc.
Jennifer March 01, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Because that's not called "seperation." It's called segregation.
Jh312 March 01, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Jennifer, are you having a conversation with yourself? I never said that adding onto Inman's existing location was the logical solution. Last year, Howard was suggested as another middle school for Hope Hill and Lin. Centennial wanted to go K-8 and had strong community and parental support. BOTH of these ideas were rejected with little to no discussion. It was clearly stated that renovating Howard was cost prohibitive based on several environmental and structural unknowns. Funny how it's suddenly affordable now that it fits Davis's plan for a 6th grade academy. Centennial's proposal was simply shot down as being unrealistic (though somehow numerous charter schools handle the K-8 model just fine). The real reason for rejecting both of these ideas became evident at several of the Inman meetings, and I've already stated it above.
Jennifer March 01, 2013 at 10:25 PM
It was not clearly stated that DT Howard was cost-prohibitive. Actually, Davis said that while it was costly, the funds were certainly available. And unless you're a Centennial parent, I would let them speak for themselves. But you're right that the real reasons some Inman Middle Capacity Task Force members rejected these solution was evident at the meetings. I thought I was speaking to Mitt. I thought I was speaking with Mitt.
Jh312 March 01, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Jennifer, you crack me up. You're still having a conversation with yourself. I'm a Libertarian, with the exception my dwindling belief in public education. Let me clarify so you don't have to make up my response for me: I believe that every kid, regardless of their circumstances, has a right to get a basic education. When I say, "every kid," I include my own. As such, when some fool brings a gun to school and threatens my child's educational opportunity, I believe that the fool in question gives up her right to a similar education.
Jh312 March 01, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Thank you for the oh so predictable knee-jerk liberal reaction Jennifer. You're right, I'm BAD BAD PERSON because I want my kid segregated, yes, segregated from the type of kid who brings a firearm to school. While we're at it, let's stop any and all differentiation within the classroom and pretend we're all exactly the same. No more special ed, no more gifted classes, no more special services for Autistic kids. Southern Hope was pointing out that certain children, by virture of being born into certain circumstances, have some additional needs. Fine, let's meet those needs. Let's put them in an environment with special teachers who can address the emotional, disciplinary and academic holes in their world so they can get back to a mainstream classroom as soon as they are able. But maybe you're right, maybe it's better to continue to pretend that these problems don't exist in certain populations. Let's just keep ignoring it, and hope our denial will keep us from being called a racist.
Asa March 01, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Jennifer, Does Challenge Program in APS, AP classes, colleges raising GPA/SATs to be more selective called segregation also? Enough with high moral theory...it's a theory that is not producing. Call it whatever...segregation, separation...do what will produce results without being afraid that some one will say "it's segregation...bad, bad, bad...because it associated with the horrible chapter in American history".
Jennifer March 01, 2013 at 11:06 PM
Now, Jh312, you're the one having a conversation with yourself. I actually didn't say anything at all about whether or not a child should be expelled for bringing a gun to school. There's clearly rules and laws in place for that. If that's the only point you were trying to make, then it got lost in the deluge of all the other snark and rank speculation.
Jennifer March 01, 2013 at 11:08 PM
When you talk in terms of "these kids" being separated "as young as possible," methinks you're operating on a certain set of criteria.
Jennifer March 01, 2013 at 11:17 PM
No, sir, Jh312. You didn't say you wanted your kids separated from the type of kid who brings a firearm to school. Most people would agree with that point. Instead, you asked why can't "these kids" be separated "as young as possible." So, I guess if APS makes all of these classrooms with special teachers and all the resources necessary to help high poverty children, you'll be completely ok with more of your tax dollars floating that way, right?
Asa March 02, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Jennifer, What have you actually said that is constructive as it relates to a fool bringing a gun to school? I'll take constructive criticism even, instead of you slapping your high morals all over this page. Oh, sorry, I know what your plan is...go hug the world, passing out your cookies and milk, and telling everyone that you are not "like these people". Why don't you start with Morgan and her family...do everyone a favor, make it productive: bring a copy of all comments along. "These people" have actually contributed specific suggestions/steps Morgan and her parents can take in order not to continue to be a drain on our society (I know that is not a priority for you). Yes, yes and yes...you can do some editing, in order for Morgan and her family to be more receptive. I would agree that some comments here (myself included) will cause them to shut down, by pulling big old race card and playing the role of the victim. Plan B (exit strategy), tell them Obama will be right there to help them...that should give you enough time to get out in one piece...but don't lead with with it (sense of false hope doesn't last long). Let me know how that works out. Trying to combine the best of both sides here. Good luck!
Jh312 March 02, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Jennifer, if you were actually reading some of these posts instead of simply trying to vilify me, you would realize that "these kids" I was referring to were the kids Southern Hope described in her post. "As young as possible" refers to the concept of early intervention, which is also used to address academic deficiencies and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Serious behavioral issues often present themselves in elementary school. Perhaps you think it's a better strategy to wait until a kid is 17 and commits a felony to address her disciplinary problems? Jennifer, did you just make a generalization that high poverty automatically equals a disciplinary problem (maybe I should have employed your snarky use of quotation marks there)? I'm fairly certain that there are plenty of poor kids whose parents care about them and instill them with decent values. The program I'm envisioning is specifically for those children who are at-risk from a disciplinary standpoint. That being said, I suspect that like most government agencies, APS suffers from a level of poor financial management. There is probably some money that can be reallocated. In addition, there are creative ways to galvanize corporate, academic and community support. Once these avenues have been exhausted, I would absolutely accept idea of paying more in taxes for an effective program that, if done properly, would not be needed within a generation (at least according to Gabe). What else? And P.S. it's Ma'am, not sir.
Jh312 March 02, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Jennifer, I was responding to one of Gabe's comments. You would know that if you actually took the time to read an entire conversation instead of just picking apart the pieces that are at odds with your politics.
Asa March 02, 2013 at 12:58 AM
Yes! I will pay more taxes if I had a solid plan that border line guarantees my kid will not be shot on school grounds. Besides intervention as early as possible, my plan would include moats with crocodiles...not in the literal sense, E. Davis, but as in what ever it takes takes to make school a safe learning environment...you are not doing it right now, you are being busy trying not to be too wrong or too right...E. Davis. Show up to the next meeting, that you said to the papers that you would be at (last night at Grady). Give me that plan and $10 per year in taxes per person straight to the school system...I will be elected Mayor tomorrow (yes, I will need to improve on my communication skills/delivery until then). Love Kasim!
Thug Culture March 02, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Atlanta has a serious problem with discipline in schools and it needs to be addressed. How many kids need to suffer for the bad parenting and lack of respect for education from the low SES community? We need help from the state legislature due to the failure of local "leaders".
Maye Woodard March 02, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Jennifer, I love your comments. You can speak for me on this one!
Moochelle Obama March 03, 2013 at 04:59 PM
that's why they call her "Big Morgan", morbidly obese. So she fled the hit and run last fall at Mickey D's (after loading up on a half dozen Big Mac's by the looks of her) because she had the gun then too
Atlanta Parent March 23, 2013 at 03:55 PM
And the story continues at Sutton Middle School, where a boy shoots 3 students with an AirSoft gun (available at sporting good stores). The bus driver barely notices anything and the administration takes 3 days to notify parents about the situation and the aggravated assault. What poor leaders we have running APS! Please wake up and help improve the safety of our schools by teaching how to fix it. Price, Grady, Sutton...where next?
Barbara Baggerman March 23, 2013 at 04:14 PM
But Atlanta doesn't have any money to address problems at schools, or hire additional or more competent staff, because football is a far greater priority. We must spend our scarce tax resources on a new stadium so obscenely-paid executives will have state-of-the-art skyboxes. That's what our City Council just told us this week.
Jh312 March 23, 2013 at 07:33 PM
I agree that the stadium is a gross misappropriation of tax dollars, but we already spend a lot on various and often redundant programs to try and reform school children who suffer from a lack of disciplined parenting. How about finding a way to hold parents accountable for their kid's bad behavior? While we're on the subject of obscenely-paid individuals, why not call out the current executive-in-chief at APS, who is far more interested in maintaining a facade than actually doing anything to address behavioral issues all over the city's schools?
Meinert March 23, 2013 at 07:47 PM
@ Barbara, I wouldn't muddy the problem by comparing the stadium issue with APS problems. The funding comes from different sources (Hotel/Motel taxes vs property taxes). That said, I can see where stakes need to be higher for all involved. For all I've seen (been through elem, middle and currently in high sch.), APS is a top heavy bureaucracy that's more concerned with protecting itself than with moving forward. Let's make the punishments these offenses for both perpetrators, and those who do not treat their stewardships seriously, something that will impact their world significantly. The bus driver should be fired. THe Sutton administration should be demoted or their pay grades should fall. When those that serve our students can lose then they'll take these things seriously.
Meinert March 23, 2013 at 07:49 PM
No question that $300K+ for an APS bureaucrat is ridiculous.
Meinert April 03, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Seth, do you have a child at Grady?
Meinert April 03, 2013 at 03:55 PM
Not an APS cheerleader by any means--l'm simply trying to understand from where you might be getting your your understanding of the situation. Yes, I've a student at Grady. And yes, I agree in principle for the retooling of APS. I'm in no way attempting any type of bullying (sorry you feel that way). Of what value would that be for me? Nonetheless, I always seek that statements delivered as 'fact' be corroborated with evidence--especially when I've evidence suggesting otherwise. Please, continue to participate and voice your opinion. It's as important as mine or any others. I'm not sure, however, that using derogatory adjectives for people (bullying?) or finishing each sentence with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! is helping to deliver your opinion.
Meinert April 03, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Thanks for being one of those parents who speaks up.


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