Jackson County Schools said a total of three schools faced bomb threats so far this week.
According to the district, a bomb threat was made Monday morning against Cullowhee Valley and students were relocated for pick-up at the Rec Center at 9:15 a.m.
During relocation, the district said a note was found referring to a gun in the school and as a result, students were ordered to shelter in place until released by authorities.
A bomb threat was also made against the School of Alternatives on Monday, prompting students to be relocated to Scotts Creek School. Pick-up and bus departure times remained normal.
On Tuesday, a third bomb threat was discovered on a bathroom wall at Fairview School. All students were evacuated and relocated at the gym at Smoky Mountain High School where they were all safe and accounted for.
Law enforcement and the explosives K-9 searched the school and declared the building to be clear. Pick-up and bus departure times remained normal.
Superintendent Dr. Kim Elliot released the following statement on the recent threats, asking parents to talk with their children about the consequences of making threats:Parents,
I need your help. As you may be aware, we have had multiple threats written on bathroom walls by students at three of our schools. As you can imagine, we take each and every threat seriously.
Please talk with your children about the consequences of writing or speaking any threatening word in our schools. Even if law enforcement determines that a threat is a prank or joke, it will be treated as a criminal act. It will be investigated, subject to juvenile justice, and students will be suspended for up to 365 days. These pranks terrify children and adults, and they cost thousands of dollars in labor and equipment to evacuate and relocate students. The pranks also take law enforcement and emergency personnel away from the people who truly need them.
I also realize that parents are afraid during an evacuation, so we must work together to make sure our students and staff remain safe. You can help us by making sure your cell and home telephone numbers are up-to-date in our mass calling system. If you or another parent are not receiving calls, please notify your school and give them the correct phone numbers. The mass calling system is our primary method of informing you about a lockdown or evacuation. Our secondary method of communication is Twitter. You can follow us there for updates on situations as they develop (@jcpsnc).
Please understand that our primary job during an emergency is to move students to safety and ensure that everyone is safe and accounted for. No one remains in a school building during an evacuation, and we cannot release sensitive information until it is cleared by law enforcement and emergency management. We must follow protocols, keep roads clear for emergency vehicles, and relocate students in the event of a real emergency. During a lockdown or evacuation, office phones cannot be answered, and no one other than emergency personnel is allowed on campus. As directed by our safe schools plan, parents will receive information through the mass calling system as I receive it.
I am a parent and a grandparent, and I pledge to you that I will follow our plan to ensure that all of our students and staff are safe. I will communicate with you as quickly as our protocols allow.
In the coming weeks, we will host several parent sessions to share additional information about lockdowns and evacuations. My number one goal is to always be able to say, "Everyone followed protocol, and all students and staff are safe."
Again, please remind your children about the potential consequences of their actions. And, if they see something, they should say something to an adult immediately. I care deeply about each and every one of our students. Please help me keep them safe.MORE NEWS: Coroner: Authorities investigating death at home of Union Co. employee
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