Jackson County Board of Education holds meeting after Woodville High School threats
JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. – A former Woodville High School student was taken into custody early this afternoon, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
The former student made an “alleged” threat against other students this weekend and was then banned from campus. A little after 11 this morning, parents reportedly saw the student across the street from the school and called law enforcement.
The student was detained around 11:40. According to Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen, the sheriff’s office will speak to a juvenile officer and decide what steps will be taken next.
No injuries have been reported and all students are safe and accounted for.
Many concerned parents reached out to us wanting to know what was going on. Many of those parents came to today’s school board meeting to voice their concerns.
The superintendent told parents that the student did not have a gun or a knife at the time deputies got involved, and the response was quick. He added that the student withdrew from Jackson County Schools, and is not allowed on any Jackson County school campuses.
Many parents told Superintendent Kevin Dukes they want more information during events like this.
“Why weren’t we notified that there’s a threat at hand?” one man asked.
“We as parents, we’re are not asking for detailed information. We just would like basic information about what’s going on with our children, and we can’t seem to get that,” said one parent. “Once the school was locked down, I feel like parents should have been notified.”
She added, “We were so fearful and we may have panicked, but safety for my children is the number one priority.” She went on, “My children were so upset and shaken by this… We checked them in Monday, but then this happened today and we checked our kids out.”
“When we are involved in an investigation, I can never provide you with specific information,” said Dukes, but he added that the school system will evaluate the lessons learned from the Woodville situation.
“We don’t sweep anything under the rug, but we just can’t tell you everything you want to know,” Dukes told parents.
Deputies say social media rumors made their job harder during this investigation.
“Some of the parents have blown this completely out of proportion,” said Sheriff Chuck Phillips. “They put it on Facebook, they made phone calls to the media, and they even told the media this student had a gun, and they saw it. We were there in a few seconds, and I’m the one who searched him. There was no gun, no weapon of any kind,” he said.
“I can assure you that your student’s safety is our number one priority,” said Dukes.
The student who made the threat will be detained in a juvenile detention center until his hearing.
WHNT News 19 crews are at that meeting and we will bring you updates on-air, on social media and on our WHNT news app.