'Taunted' Whitewater High student charged for gun threats
UPDATED 3:17 p.m. A 16-year-old Whitewater High School student has been charged by sheriff's deputies for making "a series of threats" against other students, officials said.
The student, who has not been named, was charged with two counts of terroristic threats, and has been removed from the school system for a minimum of 10 days by school officials, deputies said. The decision to readmit the student will be up to the Fayette County Board of Education.
The sheriff's press release notes that the school's resource officer, who is an employee of the sheriff's office, became aware of a student's threat "to bring a firearm to school and cause harm to other students."
The charges against the student were filed by the sheriff's office after consulting with the Fayette County District Attorney's office, deputies said.
The initally rumored threat was made while the student was riding a school bus home Tuesday afternoon, said Fayette County schools spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach.
When the rumor came to Principal Greg Stillions, he sent the school’s resource officer to the student’s home to inform the student not to ride the bus today and not to come to school, Berry-Dreisbach said.
Even though the threat started as a rumor, school officials have to take all such information seriously, she said.
“Our schools’ policy is we are to investigate it because you never know,” Berry-Dreisbach said. “It could be a legitimate threat. We are going to take it very seriously and it is going to be investigated.”
Parents can take this chance to remind their children of the seriousness of making threats even if one is just joking, she said.
This is also an excellent time to remind students the importance of reporting any threat, “even if you feel like it might be just a joke; you never know, maybe it’s not a joke,” she added.
“It’s a good reminder to kids that making such threats could really jeopardize their futures, and of course it’s not worth that,” Berry-Dreisbach said.
A letter about the matter will be sent home to parents this afternoon, Berry-Driesbach said.