A 16-year-old Bulloch Academy student was arrested Wednesday after it was reported he threatened to “shoot up the school,” said Bulloch County sheriff’s Capt. Todd Hutchens.
The teen was also banned from campus.
The incident allegedly took place late Wednesday. No specific person was targeted; the teen threatened violence against the school in general, Hutchens said.
The boy is the 10th student in the area arrested on terroristic threat charges since the Feb. 14 slayings at a Parkland, Florida, high school, where a troubled former student opened fire, killing 17.
Bulloch Academy headmaster Leisa Houghton sent parents an email Thursday morning informing them of the incident and how it was handled.
“Based upon a report of a statement made by a student, school officials felt that it was in the best interest of safety for everyone concerned to report the statement to law enforcement,” she wrote.
“While we do not have any knowledge or information regarding the viability of the statement, we did have reason to believe that the concerning statement was made, so law enforcement was notified.”
After a brief investigation, Bulloch County sheriff’s deputies took the teen into custody on charges of terroristic threats, Hutchens said.
“The school is taking all precautions to ensure the safety of the students, faculty and staff,” Houghton wrote in the email to parents. “We will be following all safety protocols and have increased security at the school.”
According to school policy and “the present circumstances, the student will not be allowed on the campus of BA,” she said.
Houghton did not return phone calls seeking further comment Thursday. However, spokesperson Morgan Conner responded by email to queries of whether the student was expelled: "Based upon a report of a statement made by a student, the appropriate parties were notified for investigation. While we maintain control over who enters and remains upon our campus, Bulloch Academy does not comment upon disciplinary actions."
Since the Parkland school shooting, eight Bulloch County students, one Candler County student and a Georgia Southern University student have been arrested and charged with making terroristic threats. Some named specific people as targets, while others simply made general threats about mass violence.
Both Statesboro police Chief Mike Broadhead and Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown have said such threats and acts, regardless of age, will result in charges. Brown said parents are asked to educate their children on what type of behavior and comments are unacceptable in today’s environment.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.