CLEVELAND, Ga. – A White County Middle School seventh grader was arrested Thursday after a classmate told school officials the boy threatened to “shoot up the school and that she would be the first one he shot.”
Authorities declined to identify the boy because he is a juvenile but said he was arraigned Friday (Oct. 5) in White County Juvenile Court where Judge Jeremy D. Clough set a trial date for Friday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. He is charged with making terroristic threats. The judge also ordered the boy released to his parents’ custody and required him to wear an ankle monitor. He also ordered that no guns be present in the parents’ home.
White County School Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Wilson said the boy is “suspended pending the outcome of the trial.”
A classmate of the suspect, also a juvenile, said she reported the threat Wednesday morning, first to a teacher then to the seventh grade support coordinator.
The girl’s mother, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said she was not notified of the incident until Wednesday evening around 7:30 p.m. when the support coordinator called her.
“I asked to meet with the school principal Kristi Gerrells Thursday morning and when I did, I was told that she wanted to wait until the School Resource Officer returned from vacation on Monday before contacting the police. I said that was unacceptable and I thought parents should be made aware of the threat immediately.
“I felt like the way she handled it was inappropriate. She made me feel like I was wasting my time. She also said she appreciated me not posting it on social media because we don’t need a bunch of stirred up parents. I felt like she just wanted to cover it up,” she said. “But I think this is something parents need to know.”
In March, a threat made on social media prompted White County School officials to request additional security at White County Middle School. At the time, Wilson said the threat was investigated it and determined not to be credible.
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