ROCKINGHAM — An anonymous call made to Scotland High School Thursday morning described a “rumor” of a shooting threat to both that school and Richmond Senior High School, school officials said.
The caller said there was “going to be a shooting at Scotland High School and a Richmond County senior will be shot” and then hung up the phone, according to Capt. Chris Young with the Laurinburg Police Department.
No individuals were named nor were any specifics given in the call, according to Briana Goins, public information officer for Richmond County Schools.
LPD said there was no way to trace the call because it was an unknown number and they could not confirm the threat but dispatched officers to the school anyway as a precaution.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office responded by placing an officer at the front gate of Richmond Senior High School to check visitor IDs and verify the purpose of their visit.
Chief Deputy Mark Gulledge said the sheriff’s office takes potential threats to student safety seriously.
RSHS Principal Jim Butler said parents were notified and classes were proceeding as scheduled.
“The sheriff’s office is always extremely cooperative and they (stationed an officer at the front gate) very quickly,” Butler said.
RCS is in the process of updating security at its schools in conjunction with the sheriff’s office and the school resource officers following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day.
So far, five of the school system’s most vulnerable buildings are equipped with cameras and “buzz-in” doors, but Operations Director Dennis Quick said the goal is to have these measures in place at all Richmond County schools within the next two years.
All system schools practice “active shooter” drills twice a year, and law enforcement agencies use schools to stage tactical training drills, according to Superintendent Cindy Goodman.
Schools have already taken the step of enhancing lighting at the schools to improve visibility, according to Goins. Quick said other considerations in the security review include making sure that no trees or bushes provide hiding places on school grounds, inspecting the vulnerability of doors and windows to forced entry and whether there are structures a person could use to climb to the second floor.
Reviewers will also verify that there are appropriate signs to direct visitors to the front office before entering the school, as well as the more daunting task of reorganizing traffic flow to the school to make way for law enforcement should they be called.
Beth Lawrence of the Laurinburg Exchange contributed to this story. Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]
A sheriff’s deputy checks visitor IDs at the front entrance to Richmond Senior High School on Thursday following an anonymous call saying that there would be a shooting at Scotland High School and that a Richmond senior would be shot.