Athens High School security increased after threat

Published: Aug. 18, 2015 at 11:52 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2015 at 11:52 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATHENS, AL (WAFF) - Athens City Schools officials are investigating a threat found by in a bathroom at the school.

Athens City Schools posted to their Facebook page at around 7 a.m. and said there was a rumor of a threat made by a student at the school.

Their post reads: "Athens school officials are working with the Athens City Police Department to investigate a threat made by a student. Increased police officers will be on the Athens High School campus this morning while this matter is being further investigated."

Athens City Superintendent Trey Holladay said they got a report of a threat from a student Monday that there was "scribbling" on a wall in a boys' restroom. He said the "scribbling" had been erased.

Holladay said he spoke with Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson, who said there was a report to the police station. Together they decided it was a vague threat, but they wanted to make sure students were protected.

Holladay said Athens police officers will be on campus throughout the day Tuesday both inside and outside the building.

Several parents went to the school to take their children home for the day.

"We posted on social media so parents would know we had taken it seriously, but it is not believed to be a serious serious enough to cancel school or put the school on lockdown," said Holladay.

Tracy Freeman said she, like many parents, found out about the threat via Facebook. Once she learned about the rumor of a threat, she wasted no time checking her daughters out of school.

"I didn't want to take any chances," Freeman said. "I came right away and picked my girls up."

Some parents said the school system should have alerted them Monday, and taken more precautions Tuesday.

Holladay said the school system did not want any students or parents to be afraid, but they did want to let them know they take all threats seriously and they have taken all necessary actions to ensure the safety of all the students and staff members.

Johnson confirmed the increased presence of officers at Athens High School after the school administration brought it to his attention there was a rumor of a threat.

He said the situation is under control and police are investigating to determine the origin of the threat. He said the rumor is vague and did not include direct threats toward any individuals.

As a precaution, Johnson said officers will have an expanded presence on campus and there will also be extra officers in that area for the remainder of the week.

Students who were pulled out of school Tuesday will be excused. The superintendent said if parents still feel uneasy about sending their children to school Wednesday, they will work with families and could possibly extend another excused absence for certain students.

Students can also work from home and take what is called an "E-Learning Day," without gaining an absence.

Copyright 2015 WAFF. All rights reserved.