School cleared after ‘vague threat’

Published 6:58 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Students returned to Jemison High School Tuesday after law enforcement and school officials determined there was no immediate danger related to a handwritten message found in a restroom.

The message, which contained a “vague threat” about a bomb, according to Chilton County Schools Superintendent Dave Hayden, was found in one of the men’s restrooms after school hours Monday. It was reported to JHS Principal Allen Wilson who immediately contacted law enforcement.

The Jemison Police Department and the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department responded to the call Monday afternoon, conducted a thorough search of the area with a K-9 unit and deemed the school safe Monday night for students and faculty to return Tuesday morning.

No evacuation was necessary Monday since the message was discovered and reported after school had dismissed for the day.

“There was never any danger per se, but it was a vaguely written threat and we cleared it with law enforcement,” Hayden said. “They got right on things and worked with us very well. Our law enforcement could not be any better.”

Hayden said officials are uncertain who wrote the message.

“If we have good evidence on who did it, we will certainly contact law enforcement,” he said. “We will take action if we need to at that time. Even a vague threat of this type is very serious.”

Hayden said faculty members and students at all schools are encouraged to report any activity that could be of a dangerous nature.

“We’re encouraging students to be proactive,” Hayden said. “Even if you don’t think it’s serious, let us know anyway.”

Chilton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy David Hubbard is the school system’s resource officer and is available to talk with students who have concerns.

Along with Hubbard’s presence at the schools, other law enforcement officers will continue to check in with school officials on a regular basis and ensure necessary safety procedures are carried out at every campus in the county.

“We are looking at safety procedures,” Wilson said. “We normally would anyway, but with the Connecticut incident, this causes it to be a major priority.”