Website threats result in modified lockdown at HHS

By Staff
Former student faces charges
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
A former student has been charged in Pickens County, S.C. with making a threat against the students and faculty at Hartselle High School.
Authorities believe a16-year-old boy who attended HHS as a freshman until April 2 was responsible for posting a written threat against the school on MySpace, a popular social networking web site. The message was brought to the attention of Principal Jerry Reeves late Tuesday, April17, and led to a decision to put the school on a modified lockdown early the following day.
Puckett said the suspect turned himself in to FBI agents and was charged as a juvenile with making a threat by means of an electronic communication.
Reeves said he and School Resource Officer Michael Hudson discussed the threat at 8:05 a.m. on April 18 and decided to notify HPD for assistance and put the school in a modified lockdown mode. Police officers and two Morgan County Sheriff’s deputies, in addition to school and central office staff members, secured the entrances to all buildings on campus where students were located. They were provided computer -generated photographs of the suspect.
Meanwhile, investigating officers went to work to validate the MySpace posting and determine the whereabouts of the suspect. As word of the modified shutdown circulated in the community, parents began showing up at the school office to check out their children. By the end of the day about 150 of the school’s 635 students had checked out.
After the location of the suspect was determined and he was in custody, students and faculty resumed a normal school day. That occurred at about 2 p.m.
Reeves said he met with the student body on Thursday morning, explained what took place during the modified lockdown and announced those who were checked out by a parent or guardian would have an excused absence.
Reeves commended SRO Hudson, police department and sheriff’s department officers and faculty members for their quick action and valuable assistance during the modified lockdown
Superintendent Dr. Mike Reed said he dispatched an email to school principals following the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy on April 16.

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