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White Knoll High School student charged with threatening to shoot up school

Lack of ‘Hate Crime’ legislation prevents arrest for hateful videos

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced during a press conference, that the young man arrested for making threats to students at Cardinal Newman High School, could not be charged with a crime for the hateful content of the videos.
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Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced during a press conference, that the young man arrested for making threats to students at Cardinal Newman High School, could not be charged with a crime for the hateful content of the videos.

A White Knoll High School student was charged with making threats after an online threat was sent to administrators eight days before classes are set to begin for the upcoming school year.

The student, a rising junior whose name is not being released because he is younger than 17, made threats to shoot up the school and to kill himself, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday in a news release.

“The district takes any report like this seriously and immediately informed the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department,” Lexington 1 spokeswoman Mary Beth Hill said in a news release.

Sheriff Jay Koon echoed that statement, saying “White Knoll administrators notified us about the threat after a student shared a screen shot and related details of what the suspect posted online. We always take these threats seriously.”

Investigators from the sheriff’s department interviewed the student at his home on Monday night, according to the news release.

The student was suspended, according to a Lexington 1 spokesperson, but was released to his parents by the sheriff’s department pending a mental health evaluation. Lexington 1 schools are scheduled to resume classes on Aug. 20.

The school district recommended that the student be expelled, according to the news release.

“Lexington District One does not tolerate this kind of behavior and feels that every child deserves a safe learning environment,” Hill said.

The sheriff’s department is continuing an investigation into the threats. The student is scheduled to appear in Lexington County Family Court, but that date was not available, the sheriff’s department said.

The school district said it encourages anyone with safety concerns to report them immediately, and they can make a report by calling 803-636-8317; texting 803-636-8317; or emailing 1607@alert1.us.com.

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Isabella Cueto is a bilingual multimedia journalist covering Lexington County, one of the fastest-growing areas of South Carolina. She previously worked as a reporter for the Medill Justice Project and WLRN, South Florida’s NPR station. She is a graduate of the University of Miami, where she studied journalism and theatre arts.
Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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