Director of Schools addresses incident at Volunteer High, says increased law enforcement will be at school

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HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Hawkins County Director of Schools Matt Hixson has released a statement regarding the incident at Volunteer High School that authorities are now saying was a “hoax.”

Hixson provided the following recap of events in his statement:

  1. Dispatch received a viable threat, stating an individual was on campus with a gun and intended to use it
  2. Simultaneously, we had a female student fall in the parking lot due {to a seizure} and strike here head. Dispatch was called once again
  3. Following the start of the lockdown, dispatch received a call regarding possible gun shots

Hixson corroborated earlier statements made by Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson stating that two “exhaustive searches” were executed at the school, which revealed “no evidence of any weapon, ammunition, or discharge of any weapon.”

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All Volunteer High students and staff were safely evacuated to the Mt. Carmel Armory and reunited with their parents, according to Hixson.

Hixson stated that both increased law enforcement and counseling services would be at Volunteer High on Wednesday.

“For the rest of the week you will see an increased law enforcement presence,” Hixson wrote. “You will also see additional staff at the site. Counselors from Hawkins County and other agencies will be on site and ready to assist.”

Both Hixson and Lawson have stated that an investigation is ongoing into who made the call claiming an active shooter was at the school. Hixson thanked the members of law enforcement and other first responders who arrived at VHS.

“I want to sincerely thank the countless law enforcement personnel, first responders in the medical and fire protection fields, board members, and volunteers for their assistance today. Hawkins County Sheriff Department investigators, personnel from TBI, and others will continue to investigate, follow up on leads, and fully prosecute the individual who made the threat this morning.

Parents, thank you for your patience with us as we accounted for your children today and ensured they were protected up to and including parent reunification this afternoon. School will operate tomorrow with the above listed precautions in place.”

Matt Hixson, Hawkins County Director of Schools

During a media briefing Tuesday afternoon, Lawson said he believed the school would be safe Wednesday and that faculty and staff had been fully briefed on the situation.

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