No threat at Brewer High School says Superintendent

By Lauren Thornton Tobin

Parents and students from A.P. Brewer High School swarmed social media with panicked posts and comments on Nov. 2 about a rumored potential shooting threat that originated from a drawing inside a bathroom stall.

Morgan County Superintendent Bill Hopkins Jr. released a statement that night saying that authorities were aware of the situation and planned to increase security on campus, but that at that time, there was no imminent danger to students or faculty.

The next day, Hopkins said there was never an actual threat on campus and the situation quickly spiraled out of control.

“That has been the biggest misconception,” he said. “There was a small one-inch drawing of a gun on the bathroom stall, and before the principal could even investigate, there were parents already calling about a possible shooting.”

As with any potential hazard, Hopkins said administrators, along with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department, took the incident serious and conducted a thorough investigation in order to maintain a safe environment for everyone at school.

“We did provide extra security, the sheriff’s office was there along with myself, but at no time did we ever hear or see a threat to Brewer High School or any of the students,” he said. “Based on our investigation so far, (the drawing) was an attempt to disrupt the school day.”

Brewer principal Jeremy Childers said to call the picture a threat is a major exaggeration; the picture was simply a gun with the Nov. 3 date written on it.

“There were no words whatsoever,” he said. “It was small enough you could cover it up with a business card. We don’t know that whoever drew it thought yesterday was the 3rd.”

What could have ended with administrators knowing about the picture and removing it from the stall, went further and spread wildly on social media platforms, growing bigger with each new voice.

Hopkins said once the posts started going up the incident took on a life of its own.

“We take all threats, be it written or verbal, seriously and if we’re going to err on any side, we’re going to err on the side of caution,” he said. “We found no evidence of a credible threat to students, faculty or staff.”

Hopkins said he appreciates Morgan County Sheriff’s Department for providing extra security, working with administrators and looking in to the matter.

 

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