Southampton High School inspected after bomb threat

Published 10:50 am Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One student made a threat to another at Southampton High School on Friday afternoon, prompting school officials and local law enforcement to conduct a search of the building.

A male student said that he would blow up the school with a female student still inside, said Superintendent Dr. Alvera J. Parrish.

The incident was reported to the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office at 5:01 p.m., according to spokesman Major Gene H. Drewery, well after the students had left for the weekend.

Parrish said that it wasn’t until school was already out that Principal Allene Atkinson had learned of the threatening remark, hence why the school was not locked down prior.

Once Atkinson was alerted to the incident, Parrish said that she was contacted and the school followed protocol.

“We conducted the proper procedural steps,” she said. “Anytime an incident, although not directed at the school, occurs, we conduct an investigation. It was called in to the sheriff’s office, who assisted in a walk-through of the building.”

Parrish said that no students were on school grounds at the time of the call and added that the search was a priority because several events were happening inside the building over the weekend.

“The safety of the students is our highest priority,” Parrish said. “We seek to maintain a safe and secure environment at all times.”

Had this been during the school’s regular hours, Parrish said that students would have remained in their respective classrooms and the school would have been locked down while deputies searched the premises, per school policy.

In terms of the threat itself, Parrish said that the matter has been resolved, and that parents with children in the school district will receive a letter in the coming days from Southampton High School alerting them of the incident.

She also said that district administrators are looking into the student’s comments, as is the sheriff’s office.

“It’s something that happens in schools when children say things without thinking,” Parrish said. “Our role is to be very focused on what is being said. Even if we know the student, we still have to guard the safety of others.”