BREAKING NEWS: High school principal says school not in danger

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 26, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The principal of Demopolis High School is trying to put parents at ease after rumors of a threat by a student has swarmed through the city.

Dr. Isaac Espy said yesterday that no gun and no hit list was ever found. He blamed the rumor on the bomb scare at New Era Cap Company and the panic caused by the recent shootings at Virginia Tech.

However, police presence on campus this morning has some parents worried.

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“I want to stress that at no time were our students or our school in danger,” Espy said.

The police were on campus this morning, according to Superintendent Dr. Wesley Hill, to help alleviate any fears.

“We felt that was the best way to calm matters,” he said.

Espy said the incidents stem from Tuesday afternoon when he began hearing concerns from students about a male student who was allegedly making threats. Espy said school and police authorities searched the student’s locker and vehicle and turned up nothing.

Espy said the student is no longer on campus. Hill said the student will be given due process before the board of education, who will determine whether or not the student will be expelled for making verbal threats. Hill said most of the threats made by the student started online and not at the school.

Espy said the student was not at school on Wednesday morning, and that at no time was the school “on lock down” or were “classes changed because we felt the school was unsafe.”

Espy said school officials contacted police and took action against the student after hearing the rumors because they did not want to risk any danger to students.

Public Safety Director Jeff Manuel said no arrest has been made in the case. He said police will maintain a presence at the school for the next few days.

“We’ve gotten so many calls. There are so many rumors. We felt we needed to be there to help ease the parents,” Manuel said.