Jasper Middle student arrested following “terroristic threats” as police presence is increased at local schools

A strong police presence was noticed by parents and students this morning at Marion County High School in Jasper. This comes after the arrest of a student there on Wednesday.

Marion County Sheriff’s deputies and officers with the Jasper Police Department monitored the school grounds from the parking lot and patrolled inside the school to ensure the safety of those who were in attendance on Friday.

Several parents that we’ve spoken to said they felt better knowing that the extra presence was there, even though they didn’t feel there was ever a threat, while others said they didn’t feel it was safe sending their child to school following the threat.

Some of those parents calling themselves “Marion County Concerned Parents” have created a petition on the website Change.org, asking that the Marion County Schools inform parents of all threats and the outcome by the end of the day that the threat was made.  They’re also asking that these such threats be considered “Zero Tolerance” and not go unpunished or ignored.

Other demands include requesting an immediate meeting no later than Monday, March 12, 2018, be set for both students and parents for an update of the current threat situation as well as an announcement that the school will be working to meet the demands listed in addition to excusing any student absences for Friday, March 9th, 2018, for students who did not feel safe and therefore did not attend school.

For those who are interested in reading the petition, it can be found at the following website: https://www.change.org/p/mc-concerned-parents-marion-county-schools-must-inform-parents-of-threats-and-outcome-of-threats

At Marion County High School, the school day went on without incident; however, a new threat came in today at another school — this time involving Jasper Middle School.

Marion County Sheriff Ronnie “Bo” Burnett has confirmed that an 8th-grade student at the school was arrested on Friday after making what the sheriff called “terroristic threats” on social media.

Reports say that the male student (a minor) said he wanted to join the other student who was arrested earlier this week at MCHS and “shoot up” the school.

Officials say the student was taken into juvenile custody and is now awaiting a hearing.

Marion County Director of Schools, Dr. Mark Griffith, says that it’s now time to make students realize these threats are not a joke and will be taken seriously.

In an interview with WDEF-TV on Friday, Griffith said all school administrators will be calling all students in for an assembly to explain the serious nature of these threats and also to remind the students that if they hear anything or see anything threatening, that they report those immediately to the proper authorities.

Griffith says an increased police presence at all Marion County Schools will definitely remain in place through the end of the school year.

Stay with MarionCountyMessenger.com for the latest on this and other stories…

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