A 13-year-old student has been charged with disturbing a school after he verbally threatened to shoot several students at the Dorman High School Freshman Campus on Friday.
The student was taken into custody by the school's resource officer, who is a deputy with the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office, Thursday morning after several other students came forward and told school administrators about the threats.
Dorman Freshman Campus Principal Mark Smith said the student threatened to bring a gun to school and target African-American students he accused of bullying him, and anyone not wearing red. When questioned by school officials, the student told them it was a joke, Smith said.
“I do not consider any threat to our students as jokes,” Smith said.
A Sheriff's Office incident report states the student made threats on multiple days this week. Witnesses told the school resource officer that the student told them to wear red shirts so he wouldn't harm them, the report states.
Witnesses also told the deputy that the student debated what type of gun to use, and took into account how long it would take a weapon to kill several students.
The report states the student said he would have to kill the school resource officer and would have to “keep the cops in mind” because the situation could “turn messy.”
School officials immediately contacted law enforcement and the student was removed from campus and taken into custody, Smith said.
The student will be subject to expulsion by Spartanburg School District 6.
Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Kevin Bobo said the student did not have a weapon when he was taken into custody, and officials did not believe he had immediate access to a gun.
Bobo commended the students who came forward with the threats, and encouraged others to do the same in similar situations.
“We encourage students to come forward anytime they hear something like this, no matter how outlandish it may seem,” he said.
A letter and a phone message were delivered to the parents of the 847 students at the Dorman Freshman Campus. There will be an increased law enforcement presence at the school on Friday.