Student suspended after school threat


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Sunday, February 18, 2018

An increased law enforcement presence was slated to be at Northeastern High School today in the wake of a threat made to the school via social media late Saturday.

According to a news release issued Sunday by Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools, officials reacted quickly to the threat, which was made by a current NHS student.

“Within a very short time after the post was made, school district staff and law enforcement began investigating the matter,” the release states. “Law enforcement and school officials went to the home of the student to complete a threat assessment and determined that the student was unable to carry out the threat. Working with the school district and the sheriff's department, the district attorney will determine what charges may be filed regarding this matter.”

Pasquotank Sheriff Randy Cartwright said the student who made the threat was a male under the age of 16. The student has been suspended as the investigation continues, Cartwright said.

“We’re closely monitoring this individual and we’re going to make sure that the school is safe,” Cartwright said.

During the investigation, the sheriff’s office made a full threat assessment and has measures in place to keep students, teachers and staff safe, Cartwright said.

“Nobody is in jeopardy of being harmed,” he said.

The threat was first noticed on social media by other students, who reported it to law enforcement, Cartwright said. Deputies on duty responded immediately and investigators also were called in and worked through the night, Cartwright said.

The sheriff said the school resource officer and the school principal also responded to the threat, which did not name specific students or teachers. It basically warned students not to attend school Monday because something was planned to happen, Cartwright said. 

The safety of students and staff is a top priority for both the school district and law enforcement, the school district’s release states.

“Any and all threats toward our schools, students and staff will be fully investigated and measures put in place to ensure safety,” the release said.

The school district statement thanked Cartwright and the sheriff’s office for promptly responding and investigating the incident.

“Northeastern High School will have additional law enforcement on the campus Monday,” the release states. “District administration, school administration and law enforcement will remain vigilant in our efforts to make ECPPS a safe learning environment for everyone.”

In addition to the extra law enforcement presence at NHS, there also will be added safety precautions in place at all county schools and at the district’s administrative office, according to the sheriff.