MADISON, Miss. (WLBT) - Just before Thanksgiving break, some eighth graders at Madison Middle School allegedly overheard another student make a threat to commit a mass shooting at school. They went to the principal’s office to tell him about it, and according to one of them, the boy overheard.
School officials said they immediately got the police involved. Also alerted were the parents of the students that overheard the threat.
“I got a call from the principal that evening about a terroristic threat that had been made against the students of the school,” said Brandi Hankins, one of the mothers.
“Authorities were called, a full investigation was held, and it was determined quickly that the threats were not credible,” said Gene Wright, spokeswoman for the Madison County School District.
Madison Police Department investigators said they went to the home of the child who allegedly made the threats, they didn’t find anything he could use to carry them out.
“A follow up investigation was done to make sure that was not the case. There’s no weapons at the house that the kid could have contact with,” MSgt. Ryan Wigley said.
Wigley said “credible threat” could also be interpreted as “immediate danger.”
Hankins, who is a survivor of the Pearl school shootings in 1997, said she sent her kids back to school because she thought the threat had passed.
“When the Facebook post came out from Madison County schools that this was not a credible threat, I guess I assumed at that point that everything had been taken care of and investigated and I assured my kids that they were safe,” she said. “Monday I received a phone call from my child in hysterics because this child was at school.”
The student who was suspended on Friday showed up on the bus on Monday. Police say he was stopped at the door when he walked in. He wasn’t due there until 9 a.m. for a meeting with his parents and school officials, and yet he was able to board the bus and ride to school.
“I know this child was told to do a risk assessment is what we were told they asked him to go do, As far as we know it was done and that the school handled it with him though that route,” said Wigley.
The school district says they followed the procedures in their handbook as they would in any situation.
“We take any kind of threat very seriously and so disciplinary action was taken and that student was no longer enrolled at Madison Middle School,” said Wright.
But Hankins wants to know why more was not done.
“If it’s not credible, why is he no longer in school?” she said. “There’s so many things I want done, but right now, she’s here, she’s not going back right now.”