Richland Two school leaders call board meeting following string of email threats

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Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 8:37 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - School operations are returning back to normal after threats disrupted class time at several Richland Two Schools.

Emails sent to schools across the Midlands last week forced some students to have to learn from home, while other campuses had to lock down for hours at a time.

RELATED STORY: RCSD investigating Spring Valley High School threat

A 15-year-old student was arrested and charged in connection to some of those threats, but the investigation is still ongoing.

Richland County investigators are currently looking into how the student was able to get on the school server to make the threats via email.

“How could someone actually play this type of prank with the severity of it,” said the parent of three students in the school district, Cordell Brown.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department confirms the bomb threats were made to several Midlands schools last week. It prompted Spring Valley High School to switch to e-learning for the rest of the week and forced others to go on lockdown for hours.

RELATED STORY: RCSD: Spring Valley student arrested in school threats

According to school officials, the threats were made via email on a school server.

“That’s pretty questionable right there, how would he access it; how would he be able to get on the school server? That’s pretty questionable right there,” said Brown.

Parents like Cordell Brown are asking questions like that and what’s being done to keep this from happening again.

" A lot of that we can’t talk about. You know, parents want to know what’s going on in the building. If we say publicly specifically what we’re doing, then people looking to do harm will know,” said Greg Turchetta, a spokesperson for the school district.

While district leaders say they can’t go into detail about ongoing safety measures, they are opening the floor for parents and loved ones to discuss their ideas. A special board meeting was announced on Monday.

Turchetta says, “They’re discussing safety. So, there’s a lot of layers to it, a lot of components to it. A lot of nuances to it.”

RELATED STORY: Spring Valley High School student charged in threats against Lexington County schools

But board members are being vocal about preventative measures.

Richland Two School District Chair, Lindsay Agostinis says, “We need to do more as a district, and I have mentioned that to our former leadership a number of times, to speak more with our students to let them know that the district, the board, and students do not take this as a joke. It’s nothing funny, there are serious consequences.”

Turchetta says last week’s threats were obviously a huge disruption for teachers, parents, and students. He says while learning is a top priority, students’ safety is far more important.”

“Because as you saw last week, if you can’t be in your schools learning, you can’t learn. So, today there’s a lot of conversations that took place last week, that continues today. We’re looking at anything and everything when it comes to safety. We’re looking at processes, procedures, and improvements,” said Turchetta.

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department recently charged the teen with threatening the use of a destructive device, providing false information regarding a destructive device, and two counts of disturbing schools.

Those charges are in connection to the threats made to River Bluff High School and the Lexington Technology Center.

The teen is expected to appear in Lexington County Family Court at a later date.

The special meeting will happen on Tuesday night at the Richland Two School District Headquarters at 5:30 P.M.

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