Colbert County Student Charged With Making Threat on Social Media

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Colbert County High School (Photo: Carter Watkins/WHNT News 19)

LEIGHTON, Ala. (WHNT) – A Colbert County High School student is out of jail on bond after he reportedly made a threat against some classmates on social media.

Leighton Police say 18-year-old Jonathan Hunter Phillips was charged Friday afternoon with two counts of harassing communications.  He was released from jail on a $2,000 bond and is being charged as an adult.

Police say Phillips made a significant and alarming threat against a group of students at the school on social media, forcing a lockdown at the school Friday morning.

Colbert County Schools Superintendent Anthony Olivis says once Phillips was found on campus, police took the student into custody.  Phillips was not armed.

“Parents and guardians entrust us with the safety and well-being of their kids,” said Olivis. “So, that is one thing I feel confident about our school administrators, they try and provide the best academic environment while also making it as safe an environment as possible.”

Olivis says the social media aspect of the threat is something school systems are starting to see.  Unlike threats that are made verbally inside the school walls or at athletic events, social media threats are an issue the school system must look at addressing.

“We have our policies and procedures for those things, but things that transpire outside — they really make for a difficult situation for making judgments on what to do,” said Olivis.

The school went on lockdown shortly after 9 a.m. Friday.  The lockdown was lifted just before 11 a.m.


  • Frank

    What’s really sad is the children seeking attention. i don’t know this young man but the situations are everywhere, who’s to know when they’re serious. the brand of ” terrorist threat” doesn’t go away. it’s branded for years to come.

  • Janos Poleretzky

    I am not a lockdown expert but why is this even news worthy. When I was in High School- I witnessed many threats- such as- ” I’m gonna kick your ass after school”. Threats were carried out here and there but we never had a lockin, lockup, lockout or lockdown. The article would have been interesting if details of the threat was mentioned.

  • Mary Jo Terry

    Kids get angry with each other. I would bet the calls, texts and probably facebook went both ways. Screen shots of facebook only show what is copied not the entire story.

  • Stacie

    Thanks Mary Jo and Frank. I’m a student there and until your put in that situation you don’t know what you will do. Its terrible that tensions escalated that far, but the school administration handled it very well. I feel better knowing that they took the situation seriously to protect our students.

  • Rick

    Kids in school and at home get put in time out for getting in trouble. When I was in school they were only time outs in Basketball, footbal and baseball.The punishment was a good ole fashion butt whooping.l

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