Two sixth-grade students were arrested and charged after investigators discovered their plot to shoot students and staff at an elementary school in Tennessee, according to officials.
The investigation first began after the school resource officer for South Cumberland Elementary uncovered a rumor about the possible existence of a “hit list” that contained names of students who were to be shot in a future attack, according to a statement jointly released by Cumberland County Schools and Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.
CUMBERLAND COUNTY SCHOOLSDirector Janet GrahamCUMBERLAND COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICESheriff Casey CoxCROSSVILLE POLICE…
Authorities said the investigation did not turn up a “hit list,” but detectives found a hand-drawn map of the school and an alleged plot between two sixth-graders, who have not been identified, to bring weapons, hide them in the locker room, and enter through the back door to shoot faculty and students on the last day of school. Part of their plan was to also commit suicide before law enforcement intervention, officials said.
They also found multiple conversations about the preparation of the alleged plot between the two students in the past two weeks.
Investigators were not able to find weapons at either of the students’ homes. The statement said the parents of both students are very cooperative in assisting school administration and authorities.
“Our first and most important responsibility is to ensure the safety of our students and staff. It was determined that at no time during the investigation students or staff were believed to be in any
immediate danger,” Director Janet Graham said in the statement.
Both students were arrested and taken to the Cumberland County Juvenile Detention Facility where they were charged with conspiracy to commit murder. They will remain in custody awaiting a hearing in the Juvenile Court, the statement said.
“We take any threat to students and school faculty very seriously and we will respond, investigate and take swift appropriate action to manage each threat,” Casey Cox, the Cumberland Country sheriff, said in the statement.
Some parents were upset because they were not directly alerted about the alleged plot from school officials, reported WVLT.
South Cumberland mom Kimberly Derossett said, “If you’re a dollar late on you lunch money they send a text, ‘your child is behind on lunch,’ but they can’t send an alert saying this what’s going on and your kids are safe.”
Some social media users also shared the same sentiments.
“Why are the parents JUST finding out about this and in THIS manner on social media!!!!! RIDICULOUS!!!! I am thankful for being diligent in taking action but KEEP THE PARENTS INFORMED !!!! INSTEAD OF FINDING OUT ABOUT THIS ON LINE,” one social media user wrote on the official’s post.
“This is absolutely absurd that all parents in the county weren’t notified. What if say while this is going on, there isn’t another actual threat at another school?? Cumberland county schools, you need to notify parents before you post this on social media because some of us work and can’t or don’t just Sit around on Facebook all day,” another wrote.
“WHY are the parents just finding out about this?!?! There is absolutely NO excuse for it!! It went to the media first why? This is crazy and I am so upset about it,” one of the parents wrote.
Meanwhile, other social media users were just thankful no one was hurt.
“I’m very thankful that no one was hurt or injured! Anthony deserves recognition on a job well done! But why am I finding out about this on social media?” one person wrote.
“This is very sad and scary that 6th graders are plotting this stuff. Thank you for taking the situation as seriously as you are,” another wrote.