ALAMANCE COUNTY, NC - Eastern Alamance High School and Woodlawn Middle School were put on lockdown Tuesday morning, the latest in a string of lockdowns enacted by Alamance-Burlington Schools in recent days.
A joint news conference between the sheriff's office and the school system provided more details on the concerning string of threats made.
Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson said five threats had been made toward ABSS schools in recent weeks. Four threats were towards the schools themselves and one was made towards the Eastern Alamance High School prom on May 5.
Monday, Western Alamance High and Eastern Alamance High both received threats. Tuesday, another threat was made toward Eastern Alamance.
Timeline of threats made towards Alamance County Schools:
- April 27 - Post received by a student at Eastern Alamance High referencing a 'hard lockdown' after bomb and gun threats.
- May 5 - A message was received by a student at Eastern Alamance High on the evening of the school prom at Mebane Arts Center. This incident is being investigated by the Mebane Police Department.
- May 21 - Message received by a student at Western Alamance High about school shooters.
- May 21 - Message received by a student at Eastern Alamance High indicating snipers were across the street and bombs were armed.
- May 22 - Message from a student at Eastern Alamance High indicating 'no games this time just death.'
"We're going to protect our schools with everything we've got," Johnson said. "We are going to vigorously prosecute anyone that has disrupted the educational process in our county. This is serious business. We're taking it serious. We will not stop until somebody is charged in this case."
When asked about students feeling uneasy in wake of the threats, Johnson said: "We’ll have enough officers on those campuses that they don’t need to be worried."
However, parents and students alike say they definitely are worried.
"I felt like I was going to throw up honestly. I didn't want to come. I didn't want to experience it," said Samantha Ayers, a Senior at Eastern Alamance when asked about going to school today.
Her mom, feeling the same way.
"She didn't want to go to school today. I told here she was safe, promised her -- promised her that she would be kept safe and that she is safe to go to school," said Michelle Ayers.
"As a mom, it is my job to protect my child. I feel like I let her down," added Ayers.
The SBI is working with the county on the case.
"I would say anxiety is at a very high level," Alamance-Burlington Schools Superintendent Bill Harrison said of how students felt. "That's part of the higher level of awareness students have. They're going to look out for one another."
The Alamance-Burlington Schools Facebook page posted there were no updates or issues and both campuses are quiet. Tuesday marks the third straight school day that a threat was reported in the county.
Tuesday's lockdown was based off an anonymous text message sent to Eastern Alamance students.
On Monday, Eastern Alamance High, Woodlawn Middle, Western Alamance High and Western Alamance Middle Schools were temporarily placed under a soft lockdown, meaning classes continued, but with heightened security and locked doors.