Bulloch County sheriff’s deputies arrested a sixth-grade student Wednesday for pretending to have a gun and acting as if he was shooting others.
William James Middle School Resource Officer James “Bubba” Revell was notified by school administrators that the 12-year-old boy was making threats toward students and faculty, said Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown.
“The threat was made by simulating having a firearm and acting as though he was shooting towards them,” he said.
A faculty member saw the student do this and Revell took the child into custody, charging him with terroristic threats and disrupting a public school.
He was turned over to his parents, and the case will be handed over to the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, Brown said.
Wednesday’s arrest was the fifth in a series of school threats over the past two weeks. Four teens in local public schools and one adult have been arrested since Feb. 28 after making or falsely reporting similar threats.
Brown said he feels excessive media coverage and bullying may contribute to the rash of threats or rumors of threats that have become rampant nationwide after the Feb. 14 slaying of 17 at a high school in Parkland, Florida, by a former student with a history of encounters with police and school officials.
In Bulloch County, four public school students and a Georgia Southern University student were arrested. A Statesboro High School student admitted March 1 that she fabricated a story about seeing a threat to the school on social media; a Southeast Bulloch High School teen was arrested March 4 after reportedly making threats of violence to other students; the sixth-grader at William James Middle School simulated shooting people; and Feb. 28, Georgia Southern University student Emmanuel Pham, 20, was arrested on charges of terroristic threats and acts after he reportedly made an online statement that read, "If you value your life, don't be on campus tomorrow."
In Candler County, a 13-year-old male Metter Middle School student was arrested March 6 for similar offenses.
Brown said his department is “just doing our job” and warns everyone, particularly students, that making threats or filing false reports of violence or intended violence will result in charges.
He recommends parents and school officials reinforce the importance of telling students if they “see something, say something,” but also to remember that making threats or falsely reporting untrue incidents are criminal acts.
Anyone with information about the William James Middle school incident is asked to contact Revell at (912) 486-5926. Anyone with information about any other case is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (912) 764-8888.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.