Terroristic Threat Causes School Lock Down - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

02/05/2003 - Jacksonville

Terroristic Threat Causes School Lock Down

   A threat of school violence left students and parents outside Jacksonville on edge Wednesday morning. A parent called Jacksonville High School, saying a student allegedly threatened to bring a gun on campus. The call forced the school into lock down mode.

   Students, like Senior Kourtney Holcomb, who were just arriving for first period were stopped outside the main gate. Holcomb called a younger sister inside the school on her cell phone.

   "I'm concerned for her," she said. "Hopefully, they have everything under control in there."

   "All I know is they closed the school down after I left, recalls Junior Stacey Jamerson. "I tried to go to class and couldn't get in."

   As word spread across the community, dozens of parents pulled up to check on their kids.

   "As soon as my daughter is out of there, she's coming home," said parent Ann Hart. "She'll stay home the rest of the day."

   Three hours after the frenzy began, authorities reported no findings.

   "We had searched the young man, his backpack and his locker," said Principal Larry Williams. "He didn't have a weapon on him, and he didn't have a car to take weapons home. We searched him thoroughly and determined he didn't have anything on him."

   The student, believed to be a sophomore, was removed from the campus and is under investigation. Administrators opened the school at 11 a.m., but many parents opted to take their kids home instead.

   "I can't overemphasis this building is safe," said Principal Williams. "We want everybody back here, certainly if not for today, than certainly tomorrow for classes."

   Kerri Panchuk, reporting.

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