(Photo Credit: @attorneygriggs)

Threats Of Violence Grow Against Metro Atlanta Schools

By Maria Boynton

February 27, 2018 - 3:49 pm

As threats grow against schools in the Atlanta metro area, the latest being at Grayson High School Tuesday, on-campus police and municipal officers are stepping up their presence. Online threats have also been reported against schools in Gwinnett County. Earlier this month, students were arrested for bringing knives to Dunwoody High School in DeKalb County, and Maxwell High School in Gwinnett.

At Grayson High in Loganville, parents were notified by the principal of a threat via Snapchat. “Don’t come to Grayson high tomorrow cause I’m catching bodies", was included in the threat. Abreanna Ramelize, who has two siblings at the school said she went to the campus to pick them up because "I'd rather not wait to see if it's going to happen or not." Ramelize went on to say, "something needs to happen because it's unnecessary that kids aren't feeling safe in school anymore. Every week it's something different and nobody should be worried to go to school."

The threats of violence are occurring in the wake of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, in which a 19-year-old gunman shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.

Dr. Meria Carstarphen, Superintendent of the Atlanta Public School System, says the district has been able to identify sources of recent online threats to several schools in her district. Maynard Jackson, South Atlanta, Carver and Washington high schools all received a threat of some kind on social media last Friday. 

File photo of Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen (Courtesy of APS)
Dr. Carstarphen says the threats "are probably in-part to try to get out of school." They were reportedly received via Instagram. "There are a couple that we've been able to pin down as the source", says Carstarphen, adding "their parents have been notified and we're working through proceedings." 

In a letter to parents Carstarphen wrote, "Atlanta Public Schools Police Department (APSPD) began an investigation of the threat immediately in coordination with the Atlanta Police Department’s homeland security, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Out of an abundance of caution, we are implementing comprehensive security measures at our schools."