WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A “significant” amount of students stayed home Friday after a shooting threat at Lebanon High School.
The threat was one of many made to various schools throughout Middle Tennessee following Monday’s mass shooting at The Covenant School in Green Hills.
“I’m not sending my child to school. It’s so scary,” Lisa Young, a mother of a first grader, told News 2.
It’s a thought that’s crossed the minds of many since six people, including three children, were killed at The Covenant School.
“Our hearts are still aching; being in that education community, it hurts,” said Bart Barker with Wilson County Schools.
School threats like the one Lebanon High School students saw on social media Thursday only reinforce the pain.
“We understand that districts (both near and far) are experiencing these types of threats following that tragedy, and that in itself is tragic,” he explained.
Barker was alerted Thursday night by a mother of a Lebanon High School student about a Snapchat message that included a shooting threat at the high school for Friday at a specific time. That mother also took the threat to police.
“Very good actions from both the student and the parent to report it very quickly,” said Barker.
The school’s principal sent a message to families late Thursday night, saying in part that investigators found the threat was posted on a student’s Snapchat account by someone else and from another device, and that they were working to pinpoint the IP address where the post originated. The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office later posted on social media that the threat was deemed non-credible.
Classes at Lebanon High School were still held Friday with extra law enforcement on site. However, Barker said “a significant amount” of students still stayed home.
“We respect that; we understand that,” Barker stated.
Young, whose child goes to school down the road from Lebanon High School, said she would have closed schools.
“After Monday’s events, it hit so close to home. I can’t even fathom dropping my child off to school, not knowing if this threat is true. If it’s a threat that’s going to say it’s going to be at one school and it’s going to end up being at the school my child’s in, it’s not worth it and it frustrates me. I would have closed the schools today just to be precautious. What’s it going to hurt?” she explained, suggesting schools come up with online class options for when threats like this come about.
In Dickson County Friday, extra security was also in place at William James Middle School after the sheriff said a sixth grade student made a threat there.
In Sumner County, seven different potential school threats were investigated Tuesday alone, according to the sheriff’s office.