COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Parents of students at A.C. Flora High School are on edge after multiple students were arrested this week and charged with having weapons on school grounds.
According to the Richland County Sheriff's Department, an administrator told a school resource officer on Tuesday that a student had a loaded magazine in his bookbag. The officer was later told by students they had seen someone throw something into bushes on school grounds. Following an extensive search, a Smith and Wesson .380 handgun was recovered.
One of the arrested students was released to his parents, while the other was transferred to the detention center because he was on probation and being monitored by the Department of Juvenile Justice.
A mother of a senior at A.C. Flora High School said it's a sad reality when students are afraid to go to school due to ongoing threats of violence.
"It's a helpless feeling," a woman named Angela said. "We do our best to keep them safe when they're in our company but when you send them off to school it's like you're sending them there blind."
Angela said she has regular conversations with her daughter about what's going on at school and around the country as it pertains to school threats and staying safe.
"We've talked and I tell her if there is a threat in her classroom or on campus, you have to be selfish and think only about getting yourself out of the situation," she said.
Angela said upon learning of two students being arrested for having weapons on school grounds, her fear of sending her daughter to school each day is only compounded.
"I tell her if it doesn't look right, it probably isn't," she said. "Be aware and if you see something, say something."
"I remember two years ago I sat down with my daughter and we talked about Morgan and she told me the school is very accepting," she said. "I've never heard she was singled out or treated differently because of who she was."
However, following Roof's threat on Snapchat Wednesday during National School Walkout Day, Angela said her feelings have changed.
"At the time of the shooting in Charleston I told my daughter, let's give her the benefit of the doubt and that she doesn't have the same heart he does," she said. "Yesterday, when she showed her heart, it made us feel ridiculous like we overlooked a threat."
Conditions of Roof's $5,000 bond prohibit her from returning to A.C. Flora High School.