Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Person who made bomb threat at middle school believed to be a student

Photo: Live 5 News

By Patrick Phillips and Lillian Donahue | September 17, 2020 at 2:55 PM EDT - Updated September 17 at 6:23 PM

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District says it is continuing to investigate a bomb threat made during a virtual class Wednesday at Camp Road Middle School.

District spokesman Andy Pruitt said the threat came from someone who received a shared link to the online class.

School administrators believe the person who made the threat was another student, but authorities have not released information about the person’s identity or any possible suspects.

“They are very confident that a link to that classroom was shared with someone who wasn’t supposed to be there,” spokesperson Andy Pruitt said. “Just because it happened in a virtual classroom doesn’t change the protocol on how we respond to a threat. We did the same thing we would have done if a call was made to the front office or if a student said something like that inside the school or inside a classroom.”

Charleston County deputies responded to the school where the threat had been made during online instruction.

Pruitt said students were first evacuated outside then went to the gym. Pruitt said officers then cleared the school, allowing the students to leave the gym and return to normal operations.

Capt. Roger Antonio said deputies did not find any evidence of a bomb after searching the building.

Under the district’s code of conduct, a bomb threat is classified as criminal conduct and can lead to expulsion.

While the incident is the first threat made in a virtual classroom for the district, CCSD has three other documented, uninvited intruders in virtual classes since the first day of school; one other at Camp Road Middle School and two cases at Lucy Beckham High School.

“Unfortunately, some individuals have chosen to do something that effects other individuals' academic opportunities,” Pruitt said. “We’re not going to stand for it.”

Pruitt said teachers are currently using Webex and Zoom for virtual classes. When a person gains uninvited access to a class, Pruitt says teachers have the ability to remove students or shut the classroom down entirely while also reporting the incident to administration.

Pruitt calls the virtual intrusions “a discipline issue” for students.

“It’s something that we can work through as a community,” Pruitt said. “Parents can have conversations with their children about what they should and shouldn’t do.”

District officials say both students involved in virtual disruptions at Lucy Beckham High School last week have been identified.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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