SPARTANBURG Co., S.C. (WSPA)–School officials say a ninth grader has been arrested after threatening students and staff at Broome High School.
Spartanburg School District 3 said in a news release that the threat was posted on Snapchat. Another student reported the threat to officials on Wednesday.
Sheriff’s deputies investigated the threat and charged with student with disturbing schools.
School officials were made aware of the threat early Thursday morning. They said additional security is being provided at Broome High School to ensure students’ safety.
School officials also recognized the student who tipped off authorities about the threat.
“The District would like to commend the student who came forward with information. It is this kind of courage to speak out that can and will prevent tragedies,” District 3 Superintendent Kenny Blackwood said in a statement.
Chloe Gentry, a Broome High School Senior, tells 7 News, “I wasn’t scared. I was nervous. I didn’t know who the kid was.”
Gentry learned of the threat in first block from other students. She says some parents who learned about the threat after drop-off Thursday morning returned to the school later to take their kids home.
Gentry says, “They started coming up and asking to sign their kids out. They were really concerned and some parents pulled their children out of school.”
Gentry also says school leaders told students they could go home if they felt nervous or scared. She adds there were six administrators in the cafeteria Thursday. She says normally there are 2 or 3.
Lieutenant Kevin Bobo with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said a student showed their father a Snapchat picture of a Broome High School freshman wearing a mask and holding what appeared to be an assault rifle. Deputies say the post said “round 2 of Florida tomorrow.”
Deputies say the suspect stated the Snapchat post was a joke and he didn’t have intentions to hurt anyone. His parents allowed deputies to search the home. The sheriff’s office said the mask was found along with an airsoft rifle that looked like an assault rifle.
The boy has been charged with disturbing schools.
Because he’s a juvenile, deputies are not releasing his name or the Snapchat photo.
Deputies say the suspect was transported to the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice facility in Greenville.
The suspect was still in custody as of 2:40 p.m. Thursday and will likely have a hearing before a judge on Friday.