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14-year-old charged after threat found written in Midlands high school bathroom

FILE PHOTO of A.C. Flora
FILE PHOTO of A.C. Flora(WIS)
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 11:55 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 4:10 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A student at A.C. Flora High School has been charged after allegedly making threats.

The 14-year-old was charged and released to his parents on Thursday following an investigation by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and the Forest Acres Police Department.

Law enforcement and school officials began investigating circumstances surrounding a fight at A.C. Flora High School on Wednesday and a report of a gun on campus when another threat was reported. The report was made after writing was found on the wall in a school bathroom. Deputies say there was writing in two places that conveyed threats.

“Threats like these disrupt the learning environment that kids need to succeed in school,” Sheriff Lott said. “Parents have to be a part of the solution and discuss the severity of making false threats with their children. We vigorously investigate any threats made to our schools and will fully prosecute those responsible.”

Initially, Richland County Sheriff’s Department deputies said that Forest Acres Police Department was notified on Wednesday of a photo of a weapon online. After further investigation, the image was found to be from a month prior, and no weapon was found on campus.

WIS obtained a letter sent by A.C. Flora Principal Susan Childs to parents Wednesday stating that “multiple students” were involved in the fight.

During Forest Acres PD’s investigation, a fight broke out and students were apprehended and disciplined by the administration. The fight was unrelated to the other incidents, according to RCSD.

“This behavior is not going to be tolerated at Flora. Students who choose to engage in fighting will face the most severe school consequences possible and law enforcement will be involved,” wrote Childs.

After the fights, a report of the writing on the wall was made. That’s when the investigation into the writing began.

“Please talk to your children about the importance of school safety and their responsibilities in helping to keep our campus safe by being where they should be and by staying away from those who wish to cause trouble,” Childs asked of parents.

The mayor of Forest Acres, Frank Brunson also says the situation is being closely monitored and offering the city’s resources if needed, including the Forest Acres Police Department.

According to officials, Forest Acres police officers provided additional patrols at A.C. Flora Thursday.

“The foundation of Forest Acres begins with our children. The safety of our schools is paramount to city council, the chief of police, and all of our law enforcement officers,” Brunson said.

Brunson says all incidents in the community are taken seriously.

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