Fake threat leads to charges

Bedford girl allegedly lied about shooting at homecoming dance

By Sean Sauro

ssauro@altoonamirror.com

A 15-year-old girl lied about a threat to students attending a Saturday homecoming dance at Bedford High School, local police announced Tuesday.

Criminal charges are to be filed against the 15-year-old who fabricated the threat, which led to an evacuation of and early end to the dance, Bedford police said.

School officials said the same in a news release, revealing that a female student confessed to the fabrication Monday evening.

“A student confessed to fabricating a threat about another student coming to harm students at homecoming,” it read.

Officers were called to the dance Saturday evening after it was reported that a student left the dance to retrieve a gun and that he planned to return and “start shooting.”

Though it is now known that the story was fabricated, students were evacuated from the dance Saturday and an investigation commenced.

That investigation included an interview with the student ac­cused of making the threat. Police posted an update to the internet Tuesday morning.

“There is no evidence at this time that the suspect the female identified the night of the incident was involved in any type of threat,” it reads.

Instead, the girl who reported the false information about the threat will be punished, police said.

Criminal charges against the girl are to be handled by the juvenile division of the Bedford County Probation Office, according to the police update.

High school administrators also have taken action, Bedford Area School District Super­intendent Allen Sell said Tuesday afternoon.

That information also is outlined in a post to the district’s website, which says that administrators met with the female student Tuesday morning.

“While it is our policy to not discuss individual student discipline, we can describe globally what actions we take when a student commits such an offense,” the post reads.

In situations such as the falsely reported threat, the district first conducts an investigation, and, if wrongdoing is determined, the student responsible is suspended for the maximum number of days allowed by state law, according to the post.

Lastly, that student will be prohibited from attending all activities on district property.

Officials also posted a detailed timeline of events related to the Saturday incident on the district website. It begins with the girl’s false report of the threat at 8:25 p.m.

“At this time, the district is able to close this investigation and has now provided the community with a complete and factual description of events,” officials said in a release.

On Tuesday, Sell said that students returned to school Monday and counseling was offered to those who needed it. Police also were present.

“Our students conducted themselves with the utmost maturity, resiliency and bravery,” district officials said, with Sell later adding that there was not an increase in student ab­sences Monday.

In the days since the false threat, officials have fielded calls from parents and community members, who have offered donations to sponsor a new event for students evacuated from the dance, Sell said.

“We’ve had a tremendous outpouring,” he said, adding that officials intend to meet with student leaders to develop an appropriate event.

Mirror Staff Writer Sean Sauro is at 946-7535.

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