Sheriff says ‘disturbing pattern’ of school threats reported across NC

Police evacuate North Henderson High School.
Police evacuate North Henderson High School.(Viewer submitted photo)
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 2:23 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2022 at 3:18 PM EDT
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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Henderson County Sheriff said on 16 school threats have been made across North Carolina this week.

Sheriff Lowell Griffin made the announcement during a press conference after three western North Carolina schools were impacted by threats Thursday.

Classes were canceled at North Henderson High School and Apple Valley Middle School after an anonymous call came in reporting a bomb threat around 9:30 a.m. Both schools were immediately evacuated and students were reunited with their families at Fruitland Bible College.

Griffin said investigators located a package in a classroom that was described as something they believed could potentially be harmful. K9s and the bomb squad were called in but just after 12:45 p.m., the district reported that investigators had cleared the campus and everyone was safe.

The sheriff said no actual explosives were found.

“We have strong reason to believe that this is directly connected to other events that have happened across the state,” Griffin said.

He said since April 5, there have been 16 similar school threats in 13 different counties across the state. The sheriff said he has also talked to federal investigators about the issues.

“This uses up a lot of resources,” the sheriff said.

He said the incidents will not be treated as a joke and his agency will pursue criminal charges.

On Thursday students at Brevard High School sheltered in place after Transylvania County Schools said they were made aware of a possible bomb threat as well.

The campus was searched and cleared as safe.

Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin said since Apr. 15, 16 similar school threats have been reported across North Carolina.