Evans High School was placed on soft lockdown Friday after a note threatening a school shooting was written Thursday in a bathroom stall.
The message, found in a girls bathroom, alluded to a school shooting Friday, said Evans High Principal Don Brigdon.
At least eight Columbia County sheriff’s deputies were on campus when the high school opened Friday morning, and more than 380 students were absent from school at 10 a.m., Brigdon said.
“I’m sure some of them might have had doctor’s appointments, but a lot of them took this opportunity to not come to school,” Brigdon said.
School officials announced Thursday that students who didn’t attend school Friday would receive an unexcused absence unless there was a valid reason.
“That’s according to state policy,” Brigdon said. “I don’t know if we’re going to waive that or not.”
Because of an Ohio high school shooting Monday that left three teens dead, the threat was especially unnerving, Brigdon said.
“Everybody’s kind of nervous, and then somebody like this writes this on the wall,” he said.
County authorities are investigating to determine who wrote the note. That person, if found, will likely face charges of making terroristic threats and acts and disrupting a public school, sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said.
A second note was found Thursday in a different bathroom by someone threatening personal harm, Morris said. The author of the note will be suspended from school for at least four days and might be sent to a hearing for further punishment, Brigdon said.
During the lockdown, students weren’t allowed to leave their classrooms when class was in session except for an emergency. They were not allowed outside unless they were attending physical education classes or walking to portables, Brigdon said.
“We’re carrying on like a regular day other than kids have to travel within the building,” he said.