A man threatening to come to school with a gun forced Greene County's entire school system to go into a lockdown Wednesday. Sheriff's deputies moved in fast but now say the threat was unfounded and no one will be arrested.
Greene County Schools Superintendent David Jeck says a call came into the Head Start office about 12:30 p.m. The caller said he was going to an unspecified school with a gun. Jeck says they immediately locked down all five schools and the county administration building where the school board offices are located.
Inside staff said the situation was tense because they didn't know if it was a drill or a real threat.
Jeck stated, "Unfortunately we didn't have time to go to each school or call each principal and tell them exactly what's going on. All we could do is call them and say ‘you're on lockdown, we'll explain later.'"
Greene County Sheriff Steve Smith says he can't determine if a threat was actually made to the school system, but they did go to the house where the call came from.
"Not sure exactly what the problem was there, but once they talked to the people at the residence that was part of the investigation, it was determined there was no threat," he stated.
The lockdown was lifted about 30 minutes later and things returned to normal.
The sheriff says there was confusion over initial reports that an adult male suspect had been detained.
"It might have been a miscommunication when different messages were relayed to different people," he said.
Wednesday's situation quickly unfolded on social media, with worried parents wondering what happening, prompting schools to act fast.
Jeck stated, "It puts pressure on you to get it out quickly, but it has to be accurate and this is a good example of trying to get the lockdown done. We couldn't give specific information out immediately but we knew we needed to get it done fast."
The school division sent out a blast message to parents, but social media was a bit faster in this case.
Greene County Sheriff's Office Press Release
At approximately 12:35 p.m. today, the Greene County Sheriff's Office received information from our School Resource Officer regarding the Greene County Primary School. This information warranted that lockdown procedures be initiated at not only Greene County Primary School, but all Greene County Public Schools.
Greene County Sheriff's Office personnel responded immediately and in conjunction with school officials, collected information regarding the situation.
After having fully examined the information and speaking with multiple individuals, it was determined that the threat was not credible. At that time, school administrators and Greene County Sheriff's Office officials made the decision to lift the lockdown and return to normal activities.