Beulah student arrested for threats

Published 9:03 am Thursday, March 8, 2018

BEULAH — A seventh-grade student at Beulah High School has been charged with making terrorist threats following a weekend-long investigation by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Jay Jones said the student, whose name cannot be revealed due to his age, was arrested Tuesday after the investigation showed threats of bringing a weapon to the Beulah High School campus had been made.

“It’s now in the hands of the court,” he added.

Email newsletter signup

The investigation began Friday, March 2, following lunch after a School Resource Officer was told that comments has been made in regard to a threat. Another student alerted a teacher to the situation. The teacherthen alerted administrators who turned the case over to the officer.

Sheriff Jones noted that due to the non-specific nature of the information, the initial moves of the investigation centered around identifying who made the comments.

“Over the weekend we determined a person of interest and investigated further,” the sheriff said. “This just turned out to be rumors.”

However, additional information came in at the start of the week pointing to a different student, who was arrested on Tuesday.

“No weapon was found,” Jones said. “It was more words than actions.”

Lee County Schools Superintendent James McCoy added his satisfaction with the speed of the investigation, saying the Sheriff’s Office responded within seconds of being alerted.

Currently, Lee County Schools employ nine school resource officers as part of a partnership with the sheriff’s office.

“It’s a great partnership and program,” he said. “They [the officers] build a relationship with the kids. They don’t see them as just officers but someone they can talk to.”

Sheriff Jones added to this, saying the incident underscores the importance of school resource officers, who are given special training for the position.

“They’ve made it their mission to ensure the safety of students and we will continue to support and enhance them,” he said.

Besides officers, Lee County Schools also employ keyed entry locks on doors, requiring visitors to be buzzed in. The school has cameras in the buildings and faculty have gone through training in case of an emergency.