The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is investigating threats made by three students at Blythewood High School.
Those students have been identified, according to the Sheriff’s Department, and are cooperating with the investigation.
Blythewood principal Brenda Hafner sent an email to parents on Friday morning indicating that:
▪ Administrators were tipped off Thursday afternoon by a student’s email reporting “overhearing threatening comments” by a “few students.” The school then got the Richland County Sheriff’s Department involved.
▪ The school has been deemed safe, but there will be extra police presence on campus Friday.
▪ The students who allegedly made the threats, for now, will not be allowed back on campus and could face further discipline.
The email from Hafner, in its entirety, is included below.
Dear Bengal High Parents,
Hopefully you received a call from me earlier this morning. I sent a message to you to advise you of a safety concern and to let you know why extra sheriff deputies will be on campus today. To make sure you received the information, I also am sharing the details from my call below.
Yesterday after school approximately at 4:30 p.m., a student emailed school administrators to report overhearing threatening comments in a conversation between a few students. Following board policy and district procedures, we immediately responded to the safety tip. The Sheriff’s Department was alerted and officers launched an investigation.
Within a matter of hours, the students allegedly making the remarks were identified. Investigators contacted and interviewed those students and their families. School district leaders worked throughout the night and into the early morning hours cooperating with the Sheriff’s deputies.
Pending the outcome of the investigation, the individuals identified will not be allowed to return to campus and may be subject to further disciplinary actions in accordance with board policy.
As a result of this timely response, we are confident that our campus is safe as our students and employees come to school today. We appreciate that the student came forward to report the concern. That was the right thing for them to do.
Because this investigation is ongoing and further interviews with those involved continue this morning, we cannot provide any additional details at this time. To keep you informed, however, we wanted you to know what school and district leaders and law enforcement are doing to keep our campus safe. The additional sheriff deputies are on campus today as a precaution and those involved in the investigation believe that our campus continues to be safe for students and employees. School and district officials will be available this morning at the school to talk with any student, employee or parent with concerns.
Thank you for sharing the responsibility to keep our campus safe and secure for our entire Bengal Family.
Dr. Brenda Hafner