High school student arrested for threatening classmate with knife after being hit with a dodgeball

Cameron Smith

In a truly disturbing case of a high school student taking gym class far too seriously, a student at East Rowan (N.C.) High was charged with disorderly conduct and possession of a weapon on a school campus after he threatened to "cut and stab" a classmate during a game of dodgeball.

East Rowan student Joey Ward — Rowan County Sheriffs Department

As first reported by WBTV and the Salisbury Post, an 18-year-old East Rowan student named Joey Ward was taken into custody after threatening one of his classmates during a traditional game of dodgeball, shortly after he was hit with a ball. The fellow gym student reported the threat to his gym teacher, who then quickly alerted authorities who placed the school under a complete lockdown.

According to WBTV, the lockdown was a particularly serious affair, as designated by the Rowan County Sheriffs office, which called for a "code red" lockdown because a student on campus had been seen carrying a knife.

The Salisbury Post obtained Ward's arrest warrant, which stipulated that he was brought into custody for "displaying a large, 3-inch knife on campus," which certainly makes it appear that the teen was serious about his threat. Ward was found just beyond the campus boundaries shortly after the school shutdown commenced and was immediately arrested and charged.

Two other teenagers were also charged in connection with the incident, though not on any weapons charges themselves. Rather, 18-year-old Chris Glass and 16-year-old Simone Blackwell were both charged with resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer.

"The safety of our students is a top priority," Rowan Salisbury Schools public information officer Rita Foil told WBTV. "We will continue to take all necessary measures in assuring that our school remains a safe environment for all our students."

Perhaps those measures will include foregoing future games of dodgeball? That certainly wouldn't have seemed necessary before, but after Ward's actions perhaps we can no longer be sure.

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