Text threatens shooting at Greenup County school

January 15, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

Greenup County High School in Kentucky was in lockdown Tuesday after receiving an anonymous text message threatening a gun would be brought to school.

It was the second day in a row the school received a text message threat, after a bomb threat text threat was received Monday. Authorities searched the school on both days and found nothing.

According to Greenup County Superintendent Steve Hall, a text message was received Monday threatening a bomb at the school. Students were evacuated and the building was searched, but no bomb was found and students eventually returned to class.

“We went through our procedures and protocols, and Kentucky State Police and the Greenup County Sheriff’s Office went through their procedures checking and no evidence was found of any harm for students or staff was present. That’s why we came out of lockdown yesterday,” Hall said.

On Tuesday another text threat was received by the school, warning that a shooting would take place at a Greenup County High School. Hall said the Kentucky State Police were contacted and the school began its emergency notification procedure.

“The terminology of the threat (on Tuesday) was ‘a Greenup County high school,’ and we have three high schools in our county,” Hall said.

The district went into full lockdown at about 10:15 a.m. and remained in effect until about 12:30 p.m. At that time, the school began a modified lockdown at Greenup County High School, during which time parents were allowed to check on their children or remove them from school.

“The Kentucky State Police have an ongoing investigation and I’m feeling good that we might be able to identify who this person or persons are, but at this time that’s premature to say that,” Hall said. “It’s an ongoing investigation and this is collaborative effort between Greenup County Sheriff’s Office and Kentucky State Police, and our students and staff at all our schools responded just as we practiced it. At no time was any of our students or staff in any danger, but any threat we take very seriously.”

Hall said he hopes there isn’t another threat on Wednesday, but assures parents that authorities have verified the buildings are safe.

“There was no weapon and no immediate danger to anyone was found, or any evidence of that. Our schools are all clear at this time, and the Kentucky State Police with the assistance FBI are currently investigating this and we’re hoping that we can identify the person or persons that have made these text threats to our district,” he said.

In response to the threat at Greenup, Portsmouth West school also reported they were taking extra precautions and making sure all of their doors were locked. It’s not uncommon for surrounding school districts to take extra precautions during a school threat nearby.

Last week, after Wheelersburg Schools received a bomb threat less than an hour before a Minford bank robbery, Minford Schools went into a lockdown while authorities searched for the robbery suspect. At the same time, Valley Schools in Lucasville reported they locked all of their doors and kept students inside.

Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com.