Student finds gun, bullets inside unattended purse on school bus; driver charged

A bus driver with the Barrow County School System is being charged with a crime.

BARROW COUNTY, Ga. — A bus driver with the Barrow County School System is being charged with a crime.

Tuesday morning, a student found an unattended purse on a school bus to Sims Academy of Innovation and Technology and discovered a gun and bullets inside.

Officials said the student was searching for an ID before making the discovery.

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According to the Sheriff's Office, the student immediately turned the purse and gun into school officials, who eventually determined the items belonged to the bus driver, Mary Jo Hall.

"The fact that this student saw a gun in a purse and brought it to the attention of administrator is certainly the way we would want a student to handle that, by him doing that it allowed us to immediately secure the gun and keep our campus safe," assistant superintendent Dr. Ken Greene said.

Parents were notified Tuesday.


"I was just scared, terrified," said a mother who did not want to be identified. "Scared for my son. You don't expect nothing like that to happen here."

Hall will be charged for having a firearm on school grounds.

Parents said they are extremely concerned, but glad no one was hurt.

According to the school system, the driver is on leave until the investigation is complete. That's when the district will decide whether to fire her.

Channel 2's Alyssa Hyman tried contacting the driver to get her side of the story. So far, she has not been able to get in touch with her.