With classes cancelled for the day, the Jenkins County schools in Millen were closed Tuesday, while an investigation was underway into emailed threats reportedly received by staff and students.
Jenkins County School System Superintendent Tara Cooper issued the following statement Monday evening through the Jenkins County Elementary School and Jenkins County Middle-High School pages on Facebook.
“Message from the Superintendent:
It is late, and for that I apologize. Our local law enforcement and the GBI have been working on finding the person sending the email threats to our staff and students – and are still working as I write.
In light of this ongoing investigation, and a new threat tonight, we will be cancelling school tomorrow. We want our staff and students safe, and we want our parents assured of their safety.
We will provide an update tomorrow, hopefully with a resolution.
In a previous message to the “JCSS Family” posted at 2:35 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, Cooper reported that a few teachers and students at the middle school had received a message, apparently sent late the night before, demanding $5,000 “in a threatening manner.”
That day, school officials met with law enforcement to assess the threat and then decided to put the school on lockdown. Noting that the “threat was for a specific time,” Cooper stated that students had been allowed to leave school with parents but that “the time came and went” Thursday morning and the school day had continued.
She thanked the Millen Police Department and Jenkins County Sheriff’s Department for being “on hand immediately” Thursday.
Tuesday, no update had appeared on the schools’ social media pages as of 5 p.m. Two phone calls to the Jenkins County Board of Education office around 4 p.m. went unanswered, and someone answering the phone at the Millen Police Department said that information on whether the schools would reopen Wednesday would have to come from the school system.