Deputies: Juvenile responsible for social media threats against Colleton Co. schools taken into custody

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 10:47 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office say a juvenile responsible for social media threats against the Colleton County School District has been taken into custody.

The sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information on the incident to call (843) 549-2211. The school district said an investigation revealed that the social media threat was found to be a hoax created by a Colleton County Middle School.

“At no point were firearms found on any of our school properties or on district transportation,” the district said. “The student is being dealt with according to local law enforcement protocols and procedures and does not pose a threat at this time.”

According to district officials, on Sunday a threat against Colleton County Middle School was circulated on social media. The district said they implemented multiple layers of security and other precautions in their schools in response.

“Once these additional security measures were in place at our schools, law enforcement officials and district staff then further investigated the social media threat to determine its origin,” CCSD officials said.

Earlier today, Colleton County School District officials confirmed that Colleton County Middle school would operate Monday under lockout status.

“Lockout status” means school doors will be locked and faculty and staff will practice “increased situational awareness” as they teach and work, district spokesman Sean Gruber said.

The status comes after a threat posted on social media on Sunday, he said.

“Colleton County School District officials are aware of this threat, have instituted multiple layers of security and additional precautions in response, and are working with local law enforcement officials to determine if this threat is credible,” Gruber said.

Colleton County Middle School and Colleton County High School will also have increased security, including requiring all students to pass through metal detectors or be screened with a metal detector wand when leaving their bus or car.

“Out of an abundance of caution, all other schools will operate under soft lockout status for the rest of the day,” Gruber said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story stated schools were under “lockdown” rather than “lockout.” Instruction is continuing as normal under lockout status, Gruber said.

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