AP NEWS

‘No credible threat’ at South Aiken High, Aiken Public Safety says

February 15, 2019

The Aiken Department of Public Safety has determined that no credible threat existed Thursday at South Aiken High.

South Aiken High School administrators sent a message to parents Wednesday on its website concerning rumors and social media posts regarding a possible threat to the school. Other rumors about threats – one involving an assault rifle – at South Aiken and Kennedy Middle were posted on social media later Wednesday and Thursday morning.

“We have investigated the allegations and found them to be unfounded, and we have determined there is no credible threat to South Aiken High School,” Lt. Jake Mahoney with Aiken Public Safety said Thursday morning during a phone conversation with the Aiken Standard.

In an email to the Aiken Standard, Merry Glenne Piccolino, the director of communications for Aiken County Public Schools, said the district was aware of the information on social media and posted messaging at the top of both South Aiken’s and Kennedy’s websites early Thursday morning.

“There was no student found to be in possession of an assault rifle at South Aiken. All reported rumors of threats and anyone rumored to be involved in threatening behavior was fully investigated and searched,” Piccolino said in the email. “According to law enforcement who investigated all students and rumors related to the threats, the concerns yesterday were all rumors, shared over and over again. To my knowledge, there were no arrests that resulted from law enforcement’s investigation of the rumored threat.”

According to the alert that appeared Wednesday on South Aiken High’s website, the rumors of a threat stemmed from a lunchroom incident Tuesday. Those rumors led to posts about a possible school threat to pop up on social media sites, including Facebook.

Aiken Public Safety investigators said Wednesday they did not believe South Aiken students were in any danger and that Tuesday’s “threats” appeared to be nothing more than just a false rumor that spread.

As of Wednesday afternoon, no arrests had been made in connection with the investigation, Mahoney told the Aiken Standard.

South Aiken was not under any kind of lockdown Wednesday.

Thursday was the first anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, during which 17 students, staff and teachers were murdered.

Last week, Midland Valley High School was placed on a hard lockdown after two phone calls were made to the school regarding an “outside threat.” The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office investigated that situation and identified the source of the threatening phone calls made to the school, tracking the caller’s location to an area outside the United States.