Juvenile suspect charged after threat causes Asheville Middle lockdown earlier in the week

    Photo credit: WLOS Staff

    The Asheville Police Department say a juvenile suspect has been charged with Making a False Report Concerning Mass Violence on Educational Property, a Class H Felony after a threat made to Asheville Middle School on Tuesday.

    On Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, approximately 12:30 p.m., the Asheville Police Department, in coordination with Asheville City Schools, placed Asheville Middle on lockdown.

    The students were released after police cleared the school.

    Authorities have not released details about the threat.

    Dr. Denise Patterson says the school system is working with Asheville Police and additional officers have been monitoring schools like Asheville Middle for extra security.

    The superintendent says the school system does not take any threat lightly and staff are prepared to respond.

    “Our principals have been through training to investigate things like this. We’ve collaborated with Asheville Police Department and the District Attorney’s office. We just had some training on this just a couple weeks ago and any information that we get, that we think might interfere with the safety of our students or staff, we do take that very seriously,” said Dr. Patterson.

    On Wednesday, Dr. Patterson posted a statement on the school website that says,

    This is Dr. Denise Patterson, Superintendent of Asheville City Schools.
    I want to share an update with you about our district.
    In coordination with the Asheville Police Department, Asheville Middle School was placed on a full lockdown yesterday, Tuesday, November 6th at 12:28 PM while APD investigated a potential threat. After further investigation, the Asheville Police Department has identified a juvenile suspect and charges are forthcoming.
    Asheville City Schools takes all threats made against the safety of our students and staff seriously.
    Our lockdown procedures worked exactly as planned, and we would like to thank the Asheville Police Department for their continued support. We would also like to thank Principal Dockery, her administrative team, and Asheville Middle School staff members. The school staff followed police procedures to help ensure the safety of our students.
    Finally, we would like to thank you, our parents and families, for cooperating with us during yesterday's controlled dismissal. It was a long process, and we appreciated your support as we worked together to keep our students and staff safe.
    The Asheville Police Department has cleared our campus, and we are looking forward to our students and staff members returning back to the classroom today.
    Thank you for your continued support of Asheville City Schools.

    State law prevents authorities from releasing additional details about the juvenile charged.

    Police and school officials tell News 13, they continue to investigate separate potential threats made to both Asheville Middle and Asheville High on Friday as well.

    The superintendent says if parents still have concerns about these incidents, they can contact school administrators.

    School counselors are also available to talk with parents and students.

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