NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Parents and students of Nashville School of the Arts are concerned after threats were sent to several students at the high school.
The text threat sent to three students personally addressed to each of them stated, “You have 20 minutes to leave Foster Ave property or is (I’m) about to shoot Nashville School of the Arts up and I’m outside right now (blush emoji) Love- Cutter.”
The text messages led officials to put the school on lockdown.
Freshman Juliette Torrance says she was in a group of about two dozen that took cover inside the locker room.
“We all went to the locker room, shut the door, locked it and just… we were all terrified,” she explained.
As the 14-year-old tried to remain calm, she texted her mom.
“I mean it was a really scary experience, there were people crying, I was comforting a friend while texting my mom, terrified. I was scared.”
Screenshots show the intense moments between Juliette and her mom.
“I’m at work. I get the text and it’s not a drill, it’s real. It was a nightmare becoming a reality. You feel completely helpless, because there is nothing you can do,” Ashley told News 2.
The mother trying to help from a distance while panicking inside.
“Is the teacher putting stuff in front of the door? Is the teacher in there with you? I ask all the questions that just come to your mind and it’s just flooding emotions you know. I love you, you know, because in the back of my mind worst-case scenario this may be the last time I’m speaking to my daughter. This may be the final moments and it’s gut-wrenching that you are helpless. You have no idea what to say, you have no idea what to do and it’s very overwhelming,” she said with tears in her eyes.
A voice over the intercom dismissed the kids after about 20 minutes on lockdown, according to Juliette.
“We all walked outside and there were police officers everywhere and that was that.”
Parents told News 2 they were vaguely notified about the threats with a call from the school following the lockdown and they were sent an additional call later at night.
“Saying they were going to dispell rumors about the lockdown and the threat and it really didn’t offer any additional information,” Emily Masters who has a Junior at the school told News 2.
Both parents say they feel like the school dismissed the threats and moved on as normal.
“It’s almost like the default is to treat it like it’s a hoax when it should be the opposite,” Masters explained.
Both parents say their kids will not return to school until they have answers.
“I am holding my child from school. We still do not have answers. I do not feel reassured in any way that my child is going to be safe and protected going to school today or in the near future for that matter and until there are some answers…I don’t feel comfortable sending her back,” said Torrance.
Both parents say they haven’t heard an update from the school.
A Metro School official responded to News 2 late Wednesday afternoon saying,
”We take this and any threat seriously. We did have school today and the SRO was on site per usual as well as additional MNPS Security have been present and have reported that “students seem to be in good spirits.” MNPS has requested additional patrols and presence at NSA and in the immediate area. Metro PD and MNPS Security worked to keep any presence from becoming a distraction to the school day. We have been advised that tracing internet-based phone numbers through yet-unknown technology companies can take many days, if not weeks. Metro PD is not revealing sensitive aspects of their work so the investigation is not jeopardized. The MNPS Crisis Team was onsite to support students and staff.”