PICKENS COUNTY, GA – On Thursday, Oct. 17, Pickens County School (PCS) Administrators learned that a Pickens High School Student threatened to a school shooting on social media.
The threat was a photograph posted to Instagram and featured students in a classroom with two software-simulated handguns pointed at them. The photographer is holding the virtual guns and commented on the image, ” finna get my kd up.”
The “kd” refers to kill/ death ratio and is commonly found in games that involve shooting other players or killing computer-generated characters to progress. It represents kills divided by deaths, so if a player has 1o kills and 5 deaths, their K/D ratio is 2.
School Resource Officers (SRO) immediately began an investigation into the event, and the 16-year-old student is being charged with terroristic threats as a juvenile.
Sheriff Donnie Craig stated, “A lot of kids may think that they are using social media to be funny and causing no harm, but we will have zero tolerance for threats being made against our students.”
Pickens County Sheriff’s Office released a statement that they are very proud of the students for immediately bringing this to the attention of law enforcement to ensure that everyone remains safe.
This is the second instance of threatened gun violence by a PCS student within a week. The first instance occurred off school property, and the student posted that those who signed a petition against transgender bathrooms would make good target practice. This individual has already been charged for his social media posts.
It’s not known at this time if Thursday, Oct. 17’s shooting threat is connected to the transgender bathroom issue that has riled the community since last week.
Photo courtesy of Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.
Jasper, Georgia – The Pickens Board of Education has made a public statement about allegations from a recent chorus concert.
Pickens Junior High School and Pickens High School chorus groups performed in a joint concert last evening. The district office is aware that some members of the audience have expressed concerns on social media based on their perception that a student was “separated, segregated, and alienated” during the performance.
Superintendent Wilson wants to assure the community and public that the allegations circulating on social media are serious in nature and are being investigated. The district is working with all individuals involved to ensure the concerns are resolved and that any misunderstandings are made clear. We appreciate your patience as we work through this process.
JASPER, Ga. – Despite a heavy increase in social media traffic about Pickens County High School, Superintendent Dr. Carlton Wilson has confirmed with FYN as of 11:15 a.m. today, November 9, that no incidents or viable threats of such have occurred on school grounds.
A press release from the School System assured citizens that what was called a threat by some was investigated and the school is responding in spite of an investigation clearing the threat. Wilson stated that last night, the Pickens County School System became aware of potential threats on the high school. The press release stated, “After discussing last night’s investigation with the Sheriff, we have determined that the social media threat is not credible.”
Despite the investigation, the two entities have agreed to increase the Sheriff’s presence on school grounds throughout today and tonight to be safe. When FYN inquired further about the issue, Wilson said there was never a threat against the school itself, but instead was two students saying things and “posturing” against each other when friends and classmates became involved. As the two students became threatening each other, the issue blew up over social media including at least Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram.
Not even considered a bullying incident, Wilson said, “They have just had some history with each other. They’ve not gotten along.”
As the Sheriff’s office investigated the viability of these threats and mentions of weapons, Wilson said they found the students did not have access to such and have since cleared the threat. Though Wilson said there has not been disciplinary action at this time, he did say the school is remaining on the increased security today and is taking threats involving the schools seriously.
Read the school’s press release as follows:
After discussing last night’s investigation with the Sheriff, we have determined that the social media threat is not credible. However, in an abundance of caution,
there will be an increased security presence on the High School campus tomorrow. We would like to thank the Sheriff and his staff for their vigilance in
addressing this matter.
Information will be posted on the Pickens County School District website at www.pickenscountyschools.org, the Infinite Campus parent portal, district social media sites, and sent to local media.
JASPER, Ga. – Sheriff’s Detectives worked through the night following a threatening message posted on social media by a Pickens High School student.
According to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were notified Feb. 21 by a concerned student that one of their classmates had made a threatening post on the social media site Instagram.
The sheriff’s office immediately had detectives on the case investigating the validity of the threat and following up with the student. At this time, Public Information Officer Kris Stancil of the Pickens Sheriff’s Office informs us that the child who made the threat has been taken out of school and the Board of Education “has taken appropriate steps to prevent the student from returning to school.”
However, according to the press release given by the sheriff’s office, no charges have been made yet. The investigation is continuing into this incident to determine if charges will be brought. The sheriff’s office said they will continue to take all threats seriously, even if the threat was made as a joke: “Anytime we are made aware that a threat online or in person has been made, we will investigate it and take all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent an act from occurring.”
The sheriff’s full press release is as follows:
Pickens County Georgia, February 21, 2018: Sheriff’s Detectives worked through the night following a threatening message posted on social media by a Pickens High School student.
On February 21st, deputies were notified by a concerned student that one of their classmates had made a threatening post on the social media site Instagram. Deputies immediately notified detectives and launched an investigation into the validity of the threat.
In addition to working with the student and his parents, Sheriff’s Office staff members have been working closely with the Pickens County Board of Education to ensure that all students are kept safe. In this case, the parents are working closely with investigators as well.
The Board of Education has taken appropriate steps to prevent the student from returning to school at this time. Detectives are also continuing to investigate the case to determine if any criminal charges need to be sought as well.
Threats toward the safety of our kids, even if done as a joke, will not be tolerated by the Pickens Sheriff’s Office or the Pickens County Board of Education. Anytime we are made aware that a threat online or in person has been made, we will investigate it and take all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent an act from occurring.
We are extremely grateful for the students and teachers that notified our office of this incident. Due to their willingness to speak up when something didn’t look right, we have been able to act appropriately.
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