Tonight the Clayton Police Department is standing up for our Clayton Comets to say: THREATS AGAINST OUR SCHOOLS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
Since the tragic school shooting in Florida, schools all across the country have seen an giant jump in threats of violence…almost 50 threats a day nationwide….and unfortunately Clayton is not immune.
Clayton High School has had several UNCREDIBLE THREATS in the last two days, so tonight and tomorrow, we’re standing with them saying: THREATS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
Clayton POLICE are joining Clayton High School, Johnston County Public Schools, and the Johnston County Sherriffs Office in a united front: even if they’re meant to be a joke, there are SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES for these kinds of threats to our schools.
On Friday morning, you’ll see our Clayton Police officers at Clayton High, partnering with Sheriff's deputies and school leaders, in hopes our strong presence will help allay any fears. And although they have not received threats, Clayton Police will also be at Riverwood Middle, Riverwood Elementary, Cooper Elementary(Academy), Powhatan Elementary School, Clayton Middle School and West Clayton Elementary which all fall within our Town of Clayton police jurisdiction.
These hoaxes cause public panic, force law enforcement to dedicate major resources and time to investigate, and carry SERIOUS consequences for students like suspension, fines or even jail time! Parents, talk to your kids! Many teens believe they can enjoy anonymity on social media, but investigators can find the sources of posts and in these cases they did. There are several students tonight who have learned the hard way that being interrogated by detectives and police about something you thought might be funny or would get you out of having to go to class. …is no fun. This is not a joke to us.
Thank you to CHS Principal Bennett Jones and his fellow principals throughout the area for keeping our families, students, and parents informed. In his statement below, it’s clear the community worked together – swiftly reporting these rumors and potential threats as soon as they were spotted on social media; helping to flesh out the students behind them; quickly investigating to make sure they had no merit; and never hesitating to bring down the consequences for these UNACCEPATBLE disruptions in our children’s education. #CometsALLin
MESSAGE FROM PRINCIPAL BENNETT: “Good evening Clayton High School Parents, this is your principal Bennett Jones calling with important information.
Beginning yesterday afternoon, we were made aware of rumors of a potential threat of violence against our school. It was investigated by school and law enforcement officials and the source of the rumors was located and disciplined in accordance to JCPS policy and North Carolina statutes. I then sent the message to you last night informing you of the situation.
Late last night and again this morning, it was reported that there was another social media posting indicating violence that was supposedly being planned against our school on Friday. We again started an investigation in conjunction with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and found the source of the social media post. The sources of the rumors in both instances have received consequences for their actions that have led to the disruption of our educational processes.
Please let me be clear...there has been no credible threat that has been substantiated against our school. School officials, working with county officials and law enforcement, are committed to having school in a normal and safe manner tomorrow. I understand and support that as parents, you always have the right to determine what is best for your child in regards to attendance. However, if your child misses school tomorrow it will count as an absence. Fortunately, as with any absence here, students can make up absences during our COMET time tutorials and are allowed to make up work.
We appreciate our local law enforcement officials working closely with administration to address this situation and finding the people responsible for the spread of this misinformation.
Finally, I would like to thank the scores of parents and students that came forward with information that led to a relatively quick resolution of a very complex problem of sharing information via social media. I am proud of how our students responded in a responsible manner. Working together is the best way to ensure that our campus is a safe environment for everyone in Comet Country. Thank you for your continued support and for being COMETS ALL IN. Have a good night.”