A Dawson County High School student was arrested last week and charged with a felony after allegedly making terroristic statements that she and her boyfriend were going to shoot up the school.
The student, 17-year-old Hailey Michelle Lawson, was arrested Feb. 22 and was released on a conditional $10,000 bond on Feb. 26.
At the time Lawson was arrested, her boyfriend was being held in another county on unrelated charges.
Lawson is one of many in the area to have been arrested after a wave of similar threats and statements have taken hold in neighboring counties and across the state after 17 people were fatally shot at a Florida high school earlier this month.
On Feb. 16, authorities responded to a report of a student with a gun on a Hall County school bus. The 16-year-old Chestatee High student was arrested after police determined he was joking about having the gun.
Hall County school administrators also had to deal with rumors of a student with a weapon on the Flower Branch High School campus on Feb. 22, which proved false.
And two West Forsyth High School students were arrested on Feb. 23 after authorities said they made threats about causing harm at the school.
While the threats have grown out of control, school officials are working to show both parents and students they will do whatever it takes to keep school aged children safe.
The Dawson County School District is planning to provide an informational workshop next week to address general safety concerns.
The workshop will be open to the public so that parents and concerned community members can learn about the current safety procedures in place in the school system.
“The safety of our students has, and will continue to be, the most important priority of our school system,” said Dawson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Damon Gibbs.
The workshop will be broken into two parts. Gibbs will address all those in attendance with a general presentation outlining the Dawson County Schools currently does to protect its students from potential safety risks.
Afterwards, those in attendance will be able to break off into classrooms for breakout discussions. Each school will have a classroom assigned so parents can voice their concerns and meet with the leadership of their child’s school. The school system’s emergency responder partners will also be present.
“The breakout sessions will allow parents and community members to discuss new ideas and to provide feedback to our school administrators,” said Gibbs. “When our stakeholders and school personnel come together with our police and fire departments, ideas can be generated to strengthen what is already in place.”
The workshop will begin at 6 p.m. March 8 in the Dawson County Junior High School Auditorium located at 109 Allen Street.