Education

Student threatened to ‘kill someone’ at high school in Richland County, sheriff says

A student at a Midlands high school has been charged after he threatened to “kill someone” at the school, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday.

The 17-year-old Westwood High School student made online threats in an Instagram message posted Wednesday, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

On the social media site, the student threatened to “kill someone” at the school, and that students “better watch y’all back,” according to the release.

An employee at the high school in Blythewood alerted the school resource officer about the threats Thursday, and the student was questioned, the sheriff’s department said.

The student confessed that he sent the threatening messages, admitting what he did was wrong, according to the release.

In a letter sent to parents, Principal Dr. Cheryl Guy said the teen was not armed and no injuries were reported.

The sheriff’s department said the student was charged with student threats and released to his parents.

The teen will have to appear in Richland County Family Court, but no date has been scheduled, according to the sheriff’s department.

Richland Two is following district procedures for discipline, meaning the student has been removed from the school and he faces the possibility of being expelled, among other punishment options.

This is the second Westwood High student to be arrested for making threats in the past week.

On Sept. 10, a 15-year-old was arrested at the school when he was found with weapons after he threatened to “shoot up the school,” The State reported.

Overall, this is the seventh threat made at a Midlands school in just over a month.

A Lexington One student was recommended for expulsion in early August, The State reported. A rising junior at White Knoll High School was arrested and charged after he made threats to shoot up the school and to kill himself, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said.

On Aug. 22, a Meadow Glen Middle School student was removed from all Lexington District One schools after sending threatening text messages about Lexington Middle School, The State reported.

Two days later, on Aug. 24, a Pelion Middle School student was charged with making threats, saying he wanted to drive his truck into the school and shoot three girls who upset him, according to The State.

On Aug. 28, a Beechwood Middle School student told a classmate that he had a bomb in his book bag and was charged with making threats to a school, per The State. The sheriff’s department said no explosives were found.

Less than a week ago, a student at White Knoll Middle School made a threat about a school shooting after fighting with another student, and was charged with making threats to harm a school student, and third-degree assault and battery, The State reported.

Additionally, a former Cardinal Newman student caused an uproar when it was discovered he posted racist and threatening videos, The State reported. The 16-year-old was videotaped firing guns at targets meant to represent black people. He said he hated African Americans and used a racial slur to describe them, before threatening violence against the Catholic school of more than 500 students.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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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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