Alleged gun threats at local high school increase security - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Alleged gun threats at local high school



After rumors circulated about a student possibly bringing a gun to Greenbrier East High School, local police and Greenbrier County Schools administration were on high alert Thursday night into Friday morning.

"Every threat is taken seriously," said Associate Superintendent Doug Clemons.

The talk began on Twitter and Facebook, said West Virginia Sate Police Sergeant Pendleton, and escalated quickly.

"It just spiraled out of control," he said.

Thursday evening, police were able into interview the main student involved in the alleged gunman rumors, said Clemons. That student, a male, was kept from school grounds while classes were in session.

After an investigation, police discovered there were no clear threats made.

"The school is safe, to the best of our knowledge," Sgt. Pendleton said Friday afternoon.

School began at the normal time on Friday, without major hiccups. Clemons said school officials felt comfortable making that decision.

"We were confident that the local law enforcement had taken care of the issue but we knew that parents would be concerned," he said. "We would not have opened the school if we felt the students would be in harm's way... we want to do everything we possibly can to ensure the safety of our students."

Troopers and sheriff's deputies provided extra security inside the school Friday morning, even though they had determined there was no real threat to the students.

"Law enforcement acted appropriately," said Pendleton. "Officers were there as a precaution."

Pendleton warns against turning the rumor mill on social media.

"Just make sure you're not passing along information unverified information," he said.

One parent said she trusted the school and police inside when she dropped her daughter off Friday morning for class.

"I'm confident in the school system and the precautions that were being taken," said Randi Nikolas, "and in fact... seeing the [police] presence that was there, I had no problems in dropping her off and knowing she was going to be there at the end of the day."

But another parent, Elizabeth LaRue, said she wished the school had provided more notice for parents about the potential safety risks of sending a child to school that day.

"I didn't receive one call, nothing," she said. "I get calls for boosters and basketball games all the time, but none about this?"

LaRue said she drove to school and pulled her daughter from class.

"She is safest when she is with her dad and me," LaRue said. "I am certain of that."

"We are doing everything we can to keep the students safe," said Clemons.

Police said as of Friday afternoon, no arrests were made in the case.


FAIRLEA, W. Va (WVVA)--Police provided extra protection at Greenbrier East High School after a student allegedly threatened to bring a gun to class through a social media website.

As of Friday morning, the student making the alleged threats is not in school, said Greenbrier County Assistant Superintendent Doug Clemons.

It began with a fight off school grounds earlier in the week, Clemons said, that escalated through social media afterward when the student threatened to bring a gun to school and continue the altercation.

Clemons told WVVA they are doing everything they can to keep students safe.

"We take everything seriously," he said in a phone interview. "We feel confident in the safety of the school."

Superintendent Sallie Dalton added in a phone interview, "We have been monitoring the situation closely. The safety of students is of utmost importance."

Clemons said WV State Police, the Greenbrier County Sheriff's Office, and local police worked jointly to secure the school. They interviewed the student in question and looked through the post on social media websites.

WVVA's Kristen Conner will continue to work on this story.

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