Alba-Golden superintendent explains Code Orange call at district

Posted

Two different incidents were investigated at the Alba-Golden School District yesterday and today, and two junior high school boys have been taken to juvenile authorities after the investigations were completed.

One seventh grade boy and a one eighth grade boy were taken to the juvenile probation department as a result of making terroristic threats.

Superintendent Dwayne Ellis stressed that at no time were any students or staff members in danger involving the incidents.

The A-G superintendent said yesterday around 3:50 or 3:55 p.m. the school became aware that something had been written on a wall in the boys junior high restroom. Secondary Principal Michael Mize checked it out and reported to Ellis “what we would consider to be terroristic threat” stating “somebody wanted to shoot up the school.”

Ellis said he was able to find out who had written the threat. During the investigation the school went to a Code Orange situation, which he said is “Pretty much a lockdown,” in which everyone was brought in from any outdoor activities. Teachers walked students to and on the busses. “At no time was anybody in danger,” Ellis said.

Ellis said from the time the threat was learned of, the student was called in to talk to him.

The Wood County Sheriff’s Department was called in and Ellis expressed his gratitude. “They were extremely helpful in assisting us,” which to him as superintendent of a rural school district, is extremely important.

However, after that first student was identified, they became aware of another situation in which a student had written a message on a desk. The superintendent said it was not a threat, but turned out to be profanity and the district began investigating that as well.

A message was posted by the district Tuesday night on their Facebook account to explain that no one was in danger.

Wednesday morning when the busses pulled up, the boy who had written the message on the restroom wall “was brought straight in.” He said that the sheriff’s department had told them the other matter, the profanity written on the desk, was more of a school matter. However, that student went back to his classes and Ellis said while he was in his physical education class he was mad, telling another student he was so upset he could kill everybody. The other student told him he didn’t really mean that, but the student told him to get him a gun, and he would show him. This young man was subsequently taken into custody to go to juvenile probation as well.

Ellis said because of the age of the students, he would not expel them. However, he said they would be sent to the district’s disciplinary alternative educational placement (DAEP) “and of course we’re going to try to get them help.”

The superintendent said that students couldn’t have been released immediately until the investigation was completed. Also he pointed out, “I have two grand kids out here and I do not take something like this lightly.” He asks that parents, “Trust us when we are in the middle of an investigation. We got them off the playground, out of the view of anybody.”

Ellis complimented the job the administrators, teachers and staff did during the matters. He said they have talked about and practiced how to handle such situations. And, he spoke of why such things are happening. “I’m very saddened that kids are so angry, so bitter that this is a situation,” that occurs. “It’s just different from when I grew up.”

Comments

Special Sections