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Threat at Bradwell spurs security clamp down
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The Liberty County School Board and Bradwell Institute administrators took immediate action after a rumor spread Tuesday that someone would bring a gun to school  Wednesday and shoot people.
Later Tuesday afternoon, the Hinesville Police department’s detective division was involved after 27 people, primarily students, reported they received text messages on their cell phones warning of the attack.
“Rumors began Tuesday afternoon that a student made a statement in class yesterday that he was going to bring a gun to school today and start shooting,” BOE Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer said. “The threat was then texted by students to other students. There was also a rumor of a threat on MySpace. The school administration and the police were notified of the threat Tuesday afternoon.”
According to Maj. Thomas Cribbs, the detective division initiated an emergency plan. Extra officers and administrators were on hand at the campus Wednesday morning to screen each student, their bags and belongings.
“The school safety plan was activated — the building was searched and a plan put in place to handle the situation,” Scherer said. “As students arrived at school this morning, students were searched using a wand when entering the building. Purses, book bags, etc., were also searched and students were in ‘lock down’ in their first period class. Every effort is made to ensure the safety of every student at Bradwell Institute. A student has been identified and the investigation is continuing.”
Vice Principal Alex Hogan said precautionary measures were taken to ensure the safety of the students and the staff. He said the BOE and the staff are working with HPD to investigate the incident.
Cribbs said students were orderly throughout the process and those who questioned were told what was happening. He said most of the students appreciated the extra safety measure the HPD took to keep them safe.
Cribbs said his detectives are pursuing all  leads and do have a person of interest. He said he does think it’s a student at the school and the investigation will be complete soon. Cribbs said they would seek advice from the district attorney’s office on charges.
"We appreciate all the parents and students who called in to report the situation," Cribbs said. "It says a lot about our community and the steps they would take to keep kids safe."
According to Cribbs, this is an isolated incident and not connected to another threat just 12 days ago at Long County High School.
In that incident Jonathan Daniel Estep was charged with terroristic threats by the Long County Sheriff’s Department for allegedly threatening to shoot several classmates during school on Oct. 24. Estep, 18, was the senior class president.
Campus shootings or threats made to shoot on a campus are taken seriously by authorities after the infamous incident of Columbine High School back in April 1999.
There has been a rash of similar school crimes in the last few weeks.
According to CNN on Oct. 31, a gunman who had been on the lam for a week held 11 fifth-graders hostage at a school but was tackled outside a classroom without any harm to the children. On Monday  at Bell high School in Bell, Calif., a former student was shot outside the campus while playing basketball in the evening. The victim stumbled into the school’s gym where a crowd of people were watching a basketball game. He died in front of the crowd from his injuries.
On Oct. 28, four people were charged after killing two innocent bystanders at a shootout at University of Central Arkansas.
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