Columbia County parents concerned after second school threat

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October 4, 2006

Parents in Columbia County have got to be wondering what's going on at their kids' schools, after a bomb threat at Lakeside High School today and a threat of bloodshed at Evans High School yesterday.

Those threats are why all Columbia County schools are on "soft lockdown", with extra patrols, metal detectors, and even random locker searches.

The heightened security has students and parents concerned.

One mother tells us she's actually considering home-schooling her daughter. And students say they're sick and tired of all this commotion.

"I'm very concerned," Lakeside parent Jackie Boone told News 12. "I mean, that's part of the reason I moved to Columbia County, because I felt the school system was a little more secure."

Boone was in disbelief after hearing a bomb threat was written on the wall of a men's bathroom. A similar threat promising "bloodshed" at Evans High School on Tuesday was spotted last Friday.

"When I heard it on the radio, I got very concerned, and I was wondering what the school was doing about it," said parent Arlesia Andrews.

We wondered that News 12 sat down with Superintendent Tommy Price, who calls the last two days a nightmare.

As a result of these threats, officials are really stepping up safety procedures. They include random locker searches, but that's not all. They also include extra supervision in hallways and something students are calling a little unfair: requiring students to have special permission to go to their lockers or even to the bathrooms.

"They're not going to like it, and we don't want to do it," Price told News 12. "But clearly we're going to have to take measures that we otherwise wouldn't if this continues."

Lakeside freshman David Andrews agrees more supervision is needed.

"If they're going to write something in the bathroom, that's about the only place you could write it with privacy," he said.

Meanwhile, parents like Jackie Boone are asking whether this kind of worry is worth it.

"I even thought about home schooling at one time, so I may need to look into that also," she said.

This is no prank. In fact, it can carry a felony charge of terroristic threats and acts.

When the two suspects are caught, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office will seek prosecution or confinement, either to be served in a juvenile detention center or at the county jail.