Two more Oak Ridge students have been charged after police investigated threats, including a shooting-related threat, at Oak Ridge High School and Robertsville Middle School on Friday.
In the threat reported at Oak Ridge High School, a 15-year-old male student allegedly made verbal threats to another student, saying that if he was going to “shoot up the school,” he “would shoot her first,” the Oak Ridge Police Department said.
The threat was reported just before 3 p.m. Friday. The boy was removed from class and taken to the principal’s office, along with the alleged victim and a witness, the ORPD said.
“After conducting interviews and further investigation, officers learned the suspect allegedly made verbal threats to another student, stating that if he was going to ‘shoot up the school,’ he ‘would shoot her first,'” the ORPD said.
ORPD obtained a juvenile summons for charges of assault and harassment. Officers transported the student to appear before the juvenile court judge in Anderson County, the ORPD said.
The threat at Robertsville Middle School was reported earlier in the day, just after 11 a.m. Friday. In that case, a 12-year-old male student was removed from class and taken to the principal’s office, the ORPD said. After conducting interviews, officers learned that the student allegedly threatened another student through social media.
ORPD also obtained a juvenile summons for charges of assault and harassment after the Robertsville Middle School incident, and officers also transported the middle school student to appear before the Anderson County Juvenile Court judge.
Oak Ridge Police Chief James Akagi was invited to participate in morning announcements at Robertsville Middle School on Friday after another student threat was reported at the school on Thursday.
“I took this opportunity to thank the students and staff who brought yesterday’s incident to our attention and reminded everyone now was not the time to make jokes about violence,” Akagi said. “Oak Ridge Schools and ORPD will continue in coordination with the District Attorney’s Office and Juvenile Court to vigorously investigate and take whatever measures necessary to ensure the safety of school students and staff, and today’s incident is a great example of our joint commitment to maintain public safety in our schools.”
There have been three student threats in two days at Oak Ridge Schools, and two of them were at Robertsville Middle School.
“ORPD will continue to work with students and school leadership to respond to these threats immediately,” the City of Oak Ridge said.
The Police Department said no other information will be released at this time about the Friday threats.
Both students have since been transferred to the Richard L. Bean Juvenile Service Center in Knoxville.
In the Thursday incident, which was also at RMS, a 13-year-old boy allegedly threatened to “shoot up the school” during a moment of silence for the victims of the school shooting in Florida, the ORPD said. That threat was reported at 9:59 a.m. Thursday.
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.
That student is now facing an additional charge of false reporting, which is a felony, the ORPD said later Thursday afternoon. He was being transferred to the Richard L. Bean Juvenile Service Center in Knoxville.
There was also a report of threat at Clinton High School this week. On Thursday, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department reported that a 15-year-old female student at Clinton High School was arrested after she sent messages to a male student on a social media site that ultimately led to threats.
The threat was investigated by Anderson County school officials and school resource officers and detectives from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, according to Chief Deputy Mark Lucas.
The female student was identified and arrested Thursday morning, Lucas said. She is currently being held in juvenile detention pending a hearing.
Anderson County Schools Director Tim Parrott said there had been rumors on social media about a threat at Clinton High School on Wednesday night.
“The threat was a hoax, and the person responsible has been identified and dealt with appropriately,” Parrott said. “There was never a danger to anyone. The safety of our students and staff are our top priority.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.