Law enforcement officials across the state are on high alert after threats of violence were received at a handful of schools across Georgia this morning, including Westside High School in Augusta.
Multiple units from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office , an ambulance and a fire truck were dispatched to the school around 10:45 a.m. after school officials received a threat of violence there this morning. Students and staff were evacuated as officials combed the area. The area has been deemed safe, though officials say the school will remain on lockdown as a precaution.
A statement from the Richmond County School System says, “Our students and staff are safe. A potential threat against the school was called in to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. The call used the same message sent in threats determined to be unsubstantiated in other Georgia school districts this morning. We take all threats seriously. Out of an abundance of caution, the school is on lockdown status while law enforcement agencies provide a full response. Additional information will be provided after the law enforcement response is complete.”
Similar calls were received earlier this morning at Savannah High School and in Brunswick. Savannah-Chatham County officials evacuated the school after reports were received that six staffers and students had been shot at Savannah High School around 9:15 a.m. More than 100 first-responders rushed to the school. Similar calls were received in Glynn County where Brunswick High School was reported to be the site of another active shooter.
All students and staff were evacuated at the schools. The reports have all been confirmed to be part of a mass shooting hoax.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office says none of the public or private schools there received any threats of violence, but additional measures were taken to ensure the safety of students and staff there. “Our school resource officers, patrol deputies and SRT Team were all made aware and we have increased our presence at all of our schools within Burke County. We will continue to monitor these situations as several of the threats made have been determined to be a hoax. Threats of this kind are and will always be taken seriously,” according to a news release from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.