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Cookeville High Student Facing Charges After False Report Of A Weapon On Campus

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville High Student Facing Charges After False Report Of A Weapon On Campus

About an hour-long lockdown at Cookeville High School this afternoon after a student reported herself to the school system’s Crisis Hotline, saying she had a gun and planned to hurt herself and others.

Director of Schools Corby King said the Crisis Counselor contacted Cookeville Police, who then contacted the school’s SRO. After the school went into hard lockdown, law enforcement was on the scene in about two minutes.

The student was located via her computer’s I.P. address and interviewed. It was determined there was no weapon on campus.

“The reason the students were in lockdown for a little more than an hour was that the deputies, the investigators, and everyone on scene wanted to make sure that before we released the students, that that was all of the threat,” King said. “That they had found there was only student involved and not that they suspected it, it was just an abundance of caution to make sure the campus was safe and the campus was clear.”

King said law enforcement officials talked to the student’s father, which revealed the student has a history of making false reports. He said the student is over 18 and is facing Class C Felony charges from the Sheriff’s Department for making a false report.

“There will be disciplinary things but we will allow law enforcement’s process to work out,” King said. “That takes precedence over the school discipline. But there will be school disciplinary action as well.”

King said while he can’t answer specifics about student discipline, on the immediate side the student will not be at school Thursday. As for the future, there are still things to go through with the situation for long-term disciplinary action.

King said the information from a press release earlier today was all the system had at the time. He said clearly communicating between the three entities took time to piece all of the correct information together.

“That was the initial confusion for us, was that we thought a parent had contacted Cookeville Police Department,” King said. “But in fact, it was the counselor from Crisis who was chatting with the student.”

King said from the school’s perspective, things went well as far as following the school safety plan.

“We appreciate the quick actions from law enforcement to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff in response to today’s situation,” King said. “As (Putnam County) Sheriff (Eddie) Farris stated, we take these statements and threats seriously in the Putnam County School System. We worked with law enforcement to move as quickly as possible to inform our families of what was happening. Today’s events took some time to piece together, and we appreciate our parents’ and caregivers’ patience as we worked to gather information and distribute it.”

“In evaluating our responses, we always look for ways to improve our actions. The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is of the utmost importance.”

King said he was thankful this situation ended up being a non-event.


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