Threats cause record low attendance at Colbert County schools

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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – Two threats at a Colbert County high school in the last week led to a major disruption on campuses Thursday. Hundreds of students stayed home as law enforcement try to find those responsible for the latest message.

At 10:30 in the morning on a school day, the student parking lot at Colbert Heights High School should be packed. On Thursday, it was all but abandoned.

“We have more faculty and staff on campus than we have students,” stated Superintendent Gale Satchel.

She says when roll was taken Thursday morning at Colbert Heights High School, only 7 students were present. One block away at Colbert Heights Elementary, where there was no threat, 78 students were counted. Both campuses average around 500 students a day.

Superintendent Satchel says this one-day disruption cost taxpayers between $100,000-$150,000. Salaries still have to be paid and the schools have to remain operational. Money aside, Satchel said the safety and security of students is their top priority. Two messages of violence left by students in the boy’s bathroom over the last week has hurt everyone.

“I am certainly an advocate for kids,” explained Satchel. “However, I am not an advocate for kids who threaten their classmates, the teachers, and faculty and staff.”

Investigators with the Colbert County Sheriff’s Office continue to track down leads within the high school. They are trying to bring the latest culprit or culprits to justice.

The secure perimeter notice is expected to be lifted at Colbert Heights High School Thursday afternoon. Students are expected to be back at school on Friday.

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