Education

A threat made to Gautier students wasn't reported until hours after school, principal says

A new report indicates students in Mississippi with learning disabilities are twice as likely to be suspended and not earn their diplomas.
A new report indicates students in Mississippi with learning disabilities are twice as likely to be suspended and not earn their diplomas. Sun Herald file

The Gautier High School principal alerted parents of an alleged threat made against students on Thursday -- hours after school was dismissed for the day.

Debbie Anglin, director of communication for the Pascagoula-Gauter School Disctrict, released the text of a phone message Sparkman sent to parents at 8:20 p.m.

The message says "a student allegedly made a threatening statement to classmates" during school hours, although school officials were not made aware of the threat until later in the day, after dismissal.

Sparkman told parents that that campus police and the Gautier Police Department were notified and "worked quickly to investigate the alleged threat and have conducted interviews with all parties involved."

The statement said "appropriate action has been taken" and school will be in session as usual on Friday.

The school district did not release the nature of the threat. They also did not say if any students face disciplinary action because of the alleged threat.

In the message, Sparkman asks parents to talk with their kids about the importance of reporting threats in a timely manner.

The alleged threat comes one day after a shooter killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the Miami Herald reported.

The New York Times calls the incident one of the deadliest school shootings in modern U.S. history.

The alleged shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was arrested shortly after the shooting on Valentine's Day.

A Coast bail bondsmen reported a YouTube commenter with a name similar to Cruz's to the FBI months before the shooting, he said.

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