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 the 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 on Friday would receive an unexcused absence unless there was a valid reason for missing class.
“That’s according to state policy,” Brigdon said. “I don’t know if we’re going to waive that or not.”
In addition to an Ohio high school shooting Monday that left three teens dead, the threat was especially unnerving in light of a recent suicide and suicide attempt of two Evans High students, Brigdon said.
“Everybody’s kind of nervous and then somebody like this writes this on the wall,” he said.
A second note also was found Thursday in a different bathroom at the school by someone threatening personal harm, sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.
Columbia County authorities are investigating to determine who wrote the initial note. That person will likely face charges of terroristic threats and acts as well as disrupting a public school, Morris said.
The author of the note also will be suspended from school for a minimum of 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. Students also 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.