AIKEN, SC. (WJBF)- It was a frightening scene at the East Aiken School of the Arts, as a bomb threat sent parents into panic mode.
“It scared us,” said Leroy Abney. His son is a 5th grader at the school.
According to the school’s website, someone texted a bomb threat using a hotline, threatening to kill himself in the school’s parking lot.
The school was put on lockdown until just after noon, and with little answers throughout the morning, parents like Leroy Abney were terrified.
“We don’t know what’s going on. They said it was a bomb threat, but they also said there was somebody with a gun on campus. We just want to make sure the kids are straight–especially my son,” said Abney.
In the end, parents were finally able to reunite with their children. But now the question is if Aiken is doing enough to keep the students safe.
In Tuesday’s meeting, the Aiken City Council voted to approve a $346,513 grant from the SC Department of Public Safety Office of Highway Safety and Justice Program. This grant would put a full-time school resource officer at Chukker Creek Elementary School.
The grant would also allow funding to continue for an SRO position at Minnie B. Kennedy Middle and Schofield Middle Schools.
According to Mayor Rick Osbon, Chukker Elementary would be the first elementary school in the city of Aiken to be granted funding for a full-time school resource officer.
Councilperson Andrea Gregory says it’s an uncomfortable conversation to have, but the safety of the children must be a priority.
“We need to really speak and have these conversations. And I know Stuart (Bedenbaugh, Aiken City Manager) opened the door to these conversations this week with the District–because we need the District to step up and help support and fund more resources at our schools to keep our kids safe and under control,” said Gregory.
The funding was approved unanimously by the council.
As for the bomb threat, the investigation is ongoing. The individual who made the threat has not been identified.