A response Thursday night from the superintendent in Wilkes County emphasized that at no time were there weapons on the high school campus, a high school campus shared by the middle school. Rosemary Caddell, who said there are about 450 middle and 450 high school students, also detailed the procedure that was taken.
“For my child’s safety, I need to aware no matter how major or minor the situation is,” said Courtney Smith to NewsChannel 6 Thursday morning as parent concerns were growing.
Fear, then concern and then lots of questions after Wilkes County Schools sent a social media message early Thursday about a very serious threat that happened on Tuesday. Superintendent Caddell, who chose not to appear on camera, said in hindsight they would have issued a statement sooner, but they did not want to risk jeopardizing the case.
She said, “There was a post put out there that there were weapons, that we knew in advance. We did not know in advance. When we were told, within less than an hour we had a GBI agent on our school campus from the time we were told of it and it was swiftly addressed.”
Additionally, Caddell said the district is bound by federal laws that prevent it from releasing student information, even their behavior and discipline records. She said the two boys, 14 and 15, attended a hearing Thursday morning before being released on conditions, conditions made by the DJJ. Another person we’re hearing little about, but played a big role is the “hero student” who reported what didn’t look or sound right.
“We did not have an event. We had a threat, but we had a report, we had swift response, but we did not have an event,” Caddell said.
As everything unfolds, you may be wondering as a parent you may be wondering will there be changes to security measures to make sure something like this does not happen again. The superintendent says at this point it is too early to tell, but as they have those discussions they will consider making changes.
Photojournalist: Troy Robinson
The Wilkes County Sheriff’s Department and GBI are investigating an incident that happened at the high school earlier this week.
According to the Wilkes County Schools Facebook page, a quote – very serious threat – was reported on Tuesday at the Washington-Wilkes Comprehensive high school.
It was reported by a student and law enforcement was notified.
According to the GBI, two male students, a 14 and 15 year old, were each charged with one felony count of Terroristic Threats and Acts.
Both were held at the Regional Youth Detention Center in Washington, Ga. The School Superintendent says both are in the custody of their parents now.
According to the post – no weapons were involved and no one was in danger at any time.
They say the delay in notifying parents was because they needed to gather all of the correct information before sharing it publicly.