Note: This story was updated at 4:40 p.m.
A Robertsville Middle School student was arrested Thursday after threatening to “shoot up the school,” authorities said.
The Oak Ridge Police Department received a report of the threat at 9:59 a.m. Thursday. The alleged threat came during a moment of silence for the victims of the school shooting in Florida, the ORPD said.
The 13-year-old male student was immediately removed from class and taken to the principal’s office where two ORPD officers conducted an interview, according to a statement from police. The student admitted to saying he was going to “shoot up the school,” but he apologized and told officers he was joking and did not mean it, the statement said.
Officers also interviewed a parent of the student who confirmed that the teen does not have access to any firearms at home.
School officials, working with ORPD, quickly sent a Skylert notice to parents of Robertsville Middle School students, making them aware of the investigation. The student was expelled from school and released to a parent, the ORPD said.
After conferring with the juvenile prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office, ORPD officers obtained a juvenile summons for charges of harassment and disruption of a gathering. Officers responded to the student’s home, placed him under arrest, and transported him to appear before the juvenile court judge, the statement said.
The student is now facing an additional charge of false reporting, which is a felony, the ORPD said later Thursday afternoon. He is being transferred to the Richard L. Bean Juvenile Service Center in Knoxville.
“Especially in today’s environment, school safety and security are paramount,” ORPD Chief James Akagi said. “We take any threat or potential threat to students and school staff seriously. We will always respond aggressively the these threats and take proactive measures to ensure the safety of our students, our teachers, and our community.”
No other information will be released at this time, the ORPD said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.