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No threat found at school
Business as usual, according to officials
FB DCN Public Safety 2

Despite rumors circulating that Dawson County High is on lockdown, sheriff's officials say their investigation has revealed no threat to the school.

"The school is functioning as normal as possible," said Dawson County Sheriff's spokesman Capt. Tony Wooten. "The school was never in lockdown, and through our investigation, we believe there was never a credible threat to the school."

The sheriff's office and school system learned of a possible threat to the high school around 5 p.m. Wednesday when students began telling parents they had overheard alleged threats.

"We've interviewed those kids, and there's nothing we've been able to determine that proves the kid ever made that threat, so we've not seen anything to this point that makes us believe the threat's credible," Wooten said.

The incident appears to have started with a student being upset over his family's plan to move and change schools.

According to Wooten, the investigation revealed reports of the student being "visibly upset" because he "was being withdrawn" from Dawson County High School yesterday.

"One of the kids were concerned that he was going to come back and do some type of violence today," he said. "He withdrew from Dawson County High School yesterday. He's not even a Dawson County High School student anymore. He's not even here today because of that."

Dawson County School Superintendent Damon Gibbs said that he was also contacted regarding the situation.

"I was contacted late yesterday by the sheriff's office letting me know that they were investigating a perceived threat," he said. "Throughout the next couple of hours we communicated several times. Their investigation found no threat."

While no threat was found, Principal Richard Crumley said that all precautions were being taken to protect the students.

"Although the investigation determined a threat was not credible, we have taken all precautions to help ensure the safety of our students," he said.

The sheriff's office increased its presence and changed the procedure for students entering the building this morning.

"Obviously, when you are talking about the safety of kids, we did take extra precautions today. Another [school resource officer] and myself went to the high school this morning to be present," Wooten said. "The high school changed how they had kids enter the school by going through administration and us, just as an extra precaution."

Gibbs said that the day at the high school is proceeding as normal.

"I know that many parents have chosen to check their children out of school, but the sheriff's office found that no threat was made to our school," he said. "We are having a normal school day at Dawson County High School."

Wooten said the silver lining in the incident is that the alleged threat was reported.

"That's the good thing, especially with the violence against schools and kids. Any threat that we find that's against the school system or the kids, we're going to investigate," he said. "That investigation started immediately when we got the information yesterday, and we're going to make sure we do everything we can to prove or disprove suspicion."

DCN staff writer Michele Hester contributed to this story.