Rash of school threats leaves Burke County parents uneasy

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 11:10 PM EST
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WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - After receiving a direct active shooting threat, Burke County High School was closed Friday out of precaution.

Many parents were upset because they had no idea any of this was even happening when it started. Waynesboro is known for being a small town - and in small towns, word spreads quickly.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office says the high school had received two threats in the last few days, the latest threatening to shoot up the school Friday.

The school had already increased campus security Wednesday while authorities investigated threats made against the school on the social media app Yik Yak.

“I didn’t know anything happened yesterday and neither did my son,” Ashley Perry said. “It just sent everyone into a frenzy.”

Perry has a son and stepson at Burke County High School. She found out about the possible active shooter situation at her son’s school through text messages while away in Nashville.

Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams says there was no credible threat to share with the community at that time.

“When parents need to be notified we will notify them. When this community needs to know a threat is present, we are going to tell them,” he said.

And he assures that deputies train regularly for situations like this.

“Whenever we get threats, we take them seriously. We investigate them immediately. We always, always deploy resources as a preventative measure,” said Williams.

“We’re going to remain transparent, remain open, be above board, we’re going to share information,” he said.

But parents in the county feel the trust has been lost.

“Where’s the transparency?” Perry said. “I just think it could’ve been handled completely different. I feel that parents should’ve had the option to send their kids to school today.”

Williams says when authorities do find out who’s behind this, they will prosecute to the fullest extent. Williams’ agency is offering a $2,500 reward for any information that could lead to a possible arrest.

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