Threats prompt Midlands schools to evacuate for third day in a row, officials say
Multiple Midlands schools were targeted Thursday with threats, prompting officials to take precautions for the third day in a row.
Threats were issued to several schools in both Lexington and Richland counties, officials said. As a result, students are being evacuated from some schools, others are restricting student mobility and most are switching to E-learning days.
Information about the threats was not available.
It’s the third day in a row that Spring Valley High School students were sent home because of another threat, Richland 2 spokeswoman Ishmael Tate told The State. Unlike the previous two days, Tate said Thursday’s switch to asynchronous learning is not considered an evacuation.
School officials got the word out about the switch as early as possible, but some students had already arrived at the Spring Valley campus, according to Tate. Those students could be picked up by parents or head home if they drove themselves, Tate said.
Another Richland 2 school, Richland Northeast High was placed on a secure status because of a threat, officials said. Law enforcement is evaluating the threat, according to the school district.
Three Lexington 1 schools were evacuated, including Lexington High, Lexington Tech Center and River Bluff High, district spokeswoman Libby Roof told The State.
Some employees got a threatening email Thursday morning, which was turned over to law enforcement, and the decision was made to get students out of the schools and switch to an E-learning day, Roof said.
As was the case with Spring Valley, some students were already on the school campuses, and they had to be picked up by parents, according to Roof.
While Roof said law enforcement officers with both the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and the Lexington Police Department were searching the schools, police said the River Bluff High campus was “safe,” but the switch to E-learning was made so officers could properly conduct searches of the campuses.
“No credible threat has been found at this time, however, as part of our work to ensure a safe environment for students and faculty, extra deputies are on campus assisting with the investigation,” the sheriff’s department said. “Multiple law enforcement agencies are dealing with similar situations today.”
At about 10:15 a.m., the sheriff’s department said it’s also investigating a potential threat made at White Knoll High School, and extra deputies are on campus.
No Richland 1 schools have been evacuated, but the district’s elementary, middle and high schools were placed on a hold status, spokeswoman Karen York told The State. That means students are told to stay put in the rooms where they were and switch to E-learning from that spot where they can continue their activities.
York said the Richland County Sheriff’s Department contacted the school district to say that several threats were made to several area schools.
“The students and staff are fine,” York said. “This is a precaution.”
Parents who wish to pick their students up from school are allowed as long as they bring proper identification, York said.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.