DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Decatur High School and Decatur Middle School were dismissed early Friday after a possible former student sent an email to a teacher making a potential threat, according to a Decatur City Schools (DCS) spokesperson.
Elizabeth Gentle, the director of communications for DCS, said the school system received three messages in the morning possibly sent by a former student threatening gun violence.
The DCS Deputy Superintendent Dwight Satterfield said several staff members received emails containing threats and since the threats came from an identifiable email, the school system did take that threat as credible.
The DCS Crisis Response Team and Decatur Police Department (DPD) were on location working together.
Decatur Police Department (DPD) says they identified a juvenile boy as a suspect and he was taken into custody around 4 p.m. for making a ‘terrorist threat.’ He will be taken to the Tennessee Valley Juvenile Detention Center in Tuscumbia as he waits for a hearing.
The school went on ‘heightened alert’ after the threats, and eventually moved to ‘secure perimeter’ as the Crisis Response Team and DPD spread out across the campus.
A heightened alert means that potential may exist for an unusual situation and all parties should have “heightened” awareness to react as needed, Gentle said.
Reporting from News 19 at Noon:
Decatur High and Decatur Middle released around 12:15-12:30 p.m. The full statement from the post is below:
“Between 12:15 P.M. – 12:30 P.M. today we will dismiss registered licensed drivers at Decatur High School via our checkout release procedure. If the driver has a rider, that rider must be a household member. If not, the rider will need to be checked out separately.”
Decatur Middle conducted a controlled release at 12:30 p.m., according to the post. “Please pick up your child at that time and go through the back car line, and your student will be called to the vehicle,” the post said. “Parents, please don’t get out of your vehicle. Buses and walkers will be released at normal time (3:30 p.m.) unless picked up by a parent or guardian.”
News 19 will continue to update this story if any further developments arise.