UPDATE: School officials say alleged threat led to police presence at Chester Co. HS

HENDERSON, Tenn. — Law enforcement beefed up patrols Wednesday morning at Chester County High School after sheriff’s deputies said a student made a threat.

The Chester County Sheriff’s Office said a student made a threat about an act of violence that was supposed to happen on campus Wednesday.

Chester County Director of Schools Troy Kilzer later said the supposed threat appears to have resulted from two unrelated situations.

“It’s sad really because I believe the kids they need to stop picking on each other and people wouldn’t be threatening so much,” Felicia McNeal, a parent, said.

McNeal has a stepson in the tenth grade at the high school. “I worry if something’s going to happen to him,” she said. “When I heard just a while ago I went and texted him. He said he’s OK and he didn’t event know what was going on.”

Director of Schools Kilzer said a student overheard that something might happen at school and the student’s family posted about it on Facebook.

Kilzer said the district found out about the alleged threat Tuesday night and law enforcement contacted the family before school Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office said they treat every threat as legitimate.

“The town is so small you don’t think it’s so much violence here,” McNeal said.

Kilzer said they had more police on campus to reassure families they are having school in a safe environment.

Director of Schools Kilzer released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

The following statement is my learning of the results of the investigation that occurred today at Chester County High School by School Resource Officer, Kyle Connor.

Yesterday evening there was a Facebook posting made by a parent of a high school student stating that her student heard that there was going to be a shooting at CCHS today. This posting was not a threat to shoot nor named any student targeted or responsible, just that the parent was told by the student of this event today. The information of the posting was provided to school administration who contacted local Sheriff’s department. Deputy sheriff went to the home of the parent who posted prior to school today and interviewed the parent and student. From that investigation, other students’ names were shared that were interviewed at school this morning by the School Resource Officer.

This is what the SRO learned from those students questioned:

There were two students who had claimed that they were going to fight at school yesterday from approximately mid day through the end of the day. There was no specific reasoning shared by the students of why these students wanted to fight. The altercation did not occur at school between these two students, but after school, one of the two students went to the other’s home address and some type of altercation occurred. Law enforcement was notified by the parent.

From the information learned, the events at school leading up to the altercation off campus never included any reference to shooting or using any type of weapon. The parent who reported the incident off campus to local law enforcement came to the school this morning to share the incident that occurred after school yesterday with school administrator-that parent did not mention any statement to shooting or using any type of weapon.

Of the specific number of students questioned by the SRO, those students shared the conversations of the possible altercation at school that did not happen. One of the students did share of hearing one other student making a claim to another student, “don’t come to school tomorrow because there will be a shooting.” The other student was identified by the SRO and the student admitted to the SRO and school administrators of making this claim to one of the classmates but was not able to give the specific statement, but included “shooting.” The student that the statement was meant to be a joke.

The student who made the statement was not related to the other students who had the altercation and when asked, claimed that the student doesn’t own a gun. The student’s belongings at school were searched and the student had no weapons in possession. That student will face disciplinary action for the statement made and was released today in the care of the parent.

It is the opinion of the SRO that these two separate events- possible altercation of two students and the statement made by a third other student were convoluted into one event and made public by postings on social networks. I agree with the assessment of the SRO.

Dr. Catlett shared on a mass callout to all families of the school administrators knowledge of the posting, investigation of events and his statement is that the results are found to be untrue. The high school is having a regular school day today in spite of these events and investigations.