This year, six local students were arrested after making threats of violence against their schools.
The first arrest occurred on Oct. 19 when a 13-year-old Warren County Middle School student reportedly made threats against the school on social media. The Sheriff’s Department was notified of the threat and an investigation led to the student being identified and placed into custody. He was charged with filing a false report and making threats of mass violence against the school.
The investigation into the first student resulted in a second arrest. The second arrest happened the following day with another WCMS student charged with filing a false report and making threats of mass violence on a school property.
On Nov. 4, a third WCMS student was arrested for reportedly posting threats on social media. The 13-year-old student was charged with making a threat of mass violence at a school. Sheriff Jackie Matheny Jr. encouraged parents to monitor their children's social media accounts following this arrest and promised that threats like these will always be taken seriously.
A Morrison Elementary School eighth grader was arrested on Nov. 10 for making a verbal threat of mass violence. Morrison School Resource Officer Jason Fowler was notified of the threat and immediately began identifying students who were witnesses or had information. After a complete investigation, the student was charged and heard before Juvenile Court Judge Ryan J. Moore in an emergency hearing the same day. The student was placed into custody with a hearing scheduled for December.
A fifth student was arrested on Nov. 15. An eighth grade WCMS student was arrested for threats of mass violence. School officials were made aware of a verbal threat and the arrest was made after a thorough investigation and the student was charged with threats of mass violence.
The fourth arrest at WCMS prompted a meeting with the students at the school with Matheny, District Attorney Chris Stanford and Director of Schools Dr. Grant Swallows speaking to them about the consequences of this kind of behavior.
The sixth arrest happened when a FC Boyd Christian School student reportedly made threats of violence toward the school on Dec. 5. Lieutenant Jody Cavanaugh learned of a possible threat at the school and contacted Detective Lt. Tony Jenkins and Detective Sgt. Todd Rowland who began an investigation. The investigation led them to a 16-year-old male student who resides in White County. After making contact, it was determined he did not have the means to carry out the threat at the time, but after interviewing witnesses at the school they concluded it was a credible threat. After consulting with the 31st Judicial District Attorney General’s Office and the FC Boyd Christian staff, he was charged with threat of mass violence at a school and filing a false report.