Two juveniles were charged Monday after they allegedly threatened students on social media posts, said SRO Capt. Brad Harrison of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s School Resource Officers’ Division.
“The SROS are investigating these threats,” Harrison said. “People who do these threats against schools and students will be charged.”
SRO Joey Vann charged a Blackman Middle School student after he allegedly sent out “Snap Chats” specifically directed to a group of fellow students.
“This was an isolated incident directed at a group of kids,” Vann said. “Principal Dr. Amy Connifey-Marlin and the school administration and the SROs made sure the safety of the students was foremost.”
In a separate incident, Sheriff’s Detective Will Pinson charged a middle school student with making a threat toward Riverdale High School.
“Detectives determined the threat was made to settle a social dispute and there was never a real threat to harm any students at Riverdale High School,” Pinson said.
The two students charged will be taken to Juvenile Court.
Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said the Sheriff’s Office and the SROs are “very much concerned about safety in our schools and are constantly monitoring for any threats against students, teachers and staff. We take this very seriously.”
Rutherford County Schools’ spokesman James Evans said the students also face disciplinary action from the school system.
“We appreciate our strong partnership with the sheriff’s office and their quick response to investigate and resolve these non-credible but inappropriate social media comments made by students,” Director of Schools Bill Spurlock said. “We also encourage parents to monitor their children’s activity on social media and report any inappropriate messages directly to the school administration or law enforcement, so we can intervene and respond immediately.”
Harrison said the SROs focus on the threats until they reach a resolution.
“School safety is our priority,” Harrison said. “We consider the students at schools as our kids. We sure don’t want anything to happen to them. We want to ensure they have a safe learning environment.”