Crime & Courts

Police: Lexington student charged after threats to shoot a group of girls at school

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A Pelion Middle School student is charged with making threats against students after a confrontation on the second day of classes.

The eighth-grade boy, whose name was not released because he’s under 17, was arrested by Lexington County Sheriff’s deputies for making the threat, the agency said. The sheriff’s department and Lexington 1 announced the arrest Friday evening.

The male student, who is a teenager, had a confrontation Wednesday with three girls during lunch in the cafeteria, according to statements from the school district and sheriff’s department. The girls “upset” the boy, district spokeswoman Mary Beth Hill said.

The teen spoke with a school employee and “made remarks that could be interpreted as a threat,” Hill said.

A police report said the teen said he wanted to drive his truck into the school and shoot the girls that upset him.

The school employee informed the administration about the boy’s remarks and administrators immediately informed the sheriff’s department, filed an incident report and contacted the student’s parents, according to Hill. The administration suspended the student and barred him from any Lexington 1 property or events.

“Lexington District One does not tolerate this kind of behavior,” Hill’s statement said, and “feels that every child deserves a safe learning environment, and encourages students and their parents to report any safety concerns to a school administrator, School Resource Officer, school counselor, teacher or other employee. When they do, the district can respond quickly to protect their safety.”

Police searched the teen’s home and found he did not have access to weapons, according to sheriff’s department spokesperson Capt. Adam Myrick. After being charged, the teen was released to his parents.

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The district began the process to expel the teen but because of the student’s “individual circumstances” an additional step has to be taken for the expulsion, the district’s statement said.

“Pelion Middle administrators notified our school resource officer about the threat,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “This is an example of how a strong relationship between administration and the SRO creates a level of safety and security on a school campus.”

The teen is set to appear in Lexington County Family Court.

The teen’s arrest is the third incident in August of a student making threats against other students in Lexington.

On the same day as the Pelion Middle School incident, the parent of a Meadow Glenn Middle School student found “alarming texts” directed at students of Lexington Middle School on their child’s cell phone and reported them to the Lexington Police Department, the school district said in a news release. The student was recommended for expulsion.

In early August, another Lexington 1 student was recommended for expulsion, The State reported. Police arrested and charged a rising junior at White Knoll High School after he made threats to shoot up the school and to kill himself, the Lexington County 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

David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.
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