Phone: (770) 787-1330 Fax: (770) 784-2950 Email: info@newton.k12.ga.us

News

Newton County School System (NCSS) received an online threat via social media during the evening hours of Wednesday, August 5. The threat to our students’ and employees’ safety was posted on the district’s Facebook page. Newton County School Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey immediately notified the Newton County Sheriff’s Office of this online post.

Within 45 minutes, an emergency response team comprised of school system staff convened at the NCSS Service Center. The group split into teams and began the process of conducting searches of each and every school in the district. All classrooms, closets, restrooms, and more were searched for anything suspicious or out of the ordinary. The NCSS teams were assisted by multiple local law enforcement officers throughout the night and into the early morning hours. 

Newton County Sheriff’s Office personnel notified school district officials that leads were being pursued throughout the evening and into the morning to determine who posted the online threat. After reviewing all information available Thursday morning, it was determined that the threatening post was not credible and a decision was made Thursday that school should continue as planned. A School Messenger call was initiated as soon as possible Thursday morning to notify parents of the online threat and subsequent search of schools. The district also wanted to alert parents that law enforcement officers would be in close proximity to schools as a precaution.

“I want to assure parents that the safety of their students and our employees is a primary concern,” said Samantha Fuhrey, NCSS Superintendent. “Parents entrust us on a daily basis to keep their children safe and that is something I take very seriously. I am very proud of our staff for the way they handled this crisis situation. In less than one hour a team had assembled and was out the door to conduct searches at our schools. Even though these searches lasted well into the early morning hours, each and every one of them was back at work first thing this morning.”

“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the many law enforcement officers who worked with our staff throughout the night and into the morning to conduct safety checks at all of our schools,” added Fuhrey. “Their support was absolutely amazing, and greatly appreciated. Just as we did, they took this threat to student and employee safety very seriously and immediately offered their assistance. Sheriff Brown has assured us that they will make it a top priority to track down the perpetrator of this online threat and arrest and prosecute him or her to the fullest extent of the law.”

Although Facebook was notified of the online threats, the social media site emailed the school district Thursday morning stating that, “We reviewed the comment you reported for containing credible threat of violence and found it doesn't violate our Community Standards.”

“We take any threat to student and employee safety very seriously and we thank the Sheriff’s Office for doing the same,” said Fuhrey. “I encourage anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Newton County Sheriff’s Office at 678-625-5007.”

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, Director of Public Relations for Newton County Schools, at davis-viniard.sherri@newton.k12.ga.us.

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