CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. - Three Etowah High School students were charged Friday after social media posts about an attack on the school caused a panic, according to school officials.
The students were only identified by school officials by their ages: 14, 15, and 16.It was not immediately clear if the trio were arrested on those charges of disrupting public school. School officials said they will face addition in-school disciplinary action.
Homecoming festivities and Friday night's football game at the high school, which was rocked by a terroristic plot against teacher and students earlier this week, went on as scheduled, but with added security.
As the Etowah Eagles football team warmed up and fans filed into the stadium Friday night, many did so with trepidation. Many in the Etowah High School Community are still stunned by the arrest of two teens, Alfred Dupree and Victoria McCurley, who police said plotted to carry out a "Columbine-type attack".
Dupree and McCurley are being held in the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center on a long list of charges. Investigators said the pair had devised a plan and were in the process of preparing to harm fellow classmates and faculty.
Investigators said a white powdery substance, incendiary devices, and a journal listing names were found at the homes of the two students.
A judge ordered them Thursday to remain behind bars and had their cases bound over to Cherokee County Superior Court.
Friday, additional resource officers were at the school after myriad rumors of another threat circulated on social media. The show of force was out of an abundance of caution and investigators believe these latest rumblings are not necessarily credible. School official hoped the additional officers would help ease tension among the student body as well as their parents.
Student Corbin Reichstein says he saw one of the messages. " it seemed like a joking around a statement about blowing the school up," said Reichstein.
But authorities took it seriously. Extra police were on campus throughout the day Friday as well as in the crowd at Friday night's football game.
David D'Aantonio's son plays on the team. He said there is a sense of fear in the community but he thinks school officials and law enforcement have a handle on what's going on.
"Considering the fact how quickly they captured the two kids who had a real threat, I think it gives a level of comfort that they have things under control and they have a good idea of what's going on," said D'Antonio as he walked into the game.
A parent who has two sons attending the school told News Radio 106.7’S Christy Hutchings that one of her sons felt comfortable going to school Friday, but the other chose to stay home.
Parents became aware of rumors of a new threat last night.
School officials said they had 695 absentee calls or about 29 percent of the student body at the school. Students at E.T. Booth Middle School also were unnerved by the social media posts with 12 percent of the student body being absent.
“The safety and security of our students and employees is our top priority. We care about your children, and that care guides everything we do. This past week has been very challenging for our entire community, and we appreciate your continued support,” school officials wrote in a statement sent to FOX 5 News.
School leaders said they hope this is a teachable moment that making a threat of violence is not a joke and if students see something, they should say something.