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Major John Allard, PIO Office, 785-2415, 24-Hour Press Box: 799-2001, Ext. 1100

Two Teen-Age Girls Charged With Communicating Bomb Threats at Gilbert High School

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies on Thursday, March 20 charged two 15-year-old girls who are students at Gilbert High School with communicating bomb threats in text messages that each girl sent to a fellow student’s cellular telephone. At about 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, school administrators reported the threats to a deputy who works full-time as a school resource officer at Gilbert High. The officer immediately began investigating the threats.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said School Resource Officer Matt Rogers determined that the two 15-year-old girls did not possess the means to carry out the bomb threats. As a precaution, school administrators evacuated Gilbert High for about two hours on Thursday while deputies investigated the threats in order to ensure the safety of all persons at the school.

Deputies on Thursday released the two 15-year-old girls into the custody of their parents or legal guardians, Metts said. Deputies will recommend that the 11th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office prosecute the two 15-year-old girls in family court in Lexington County on charges of communicating a bomb threat and disturbing schools. Under South Carolina law, Metts cannot release information that could identify the two 15-year-old girls because the girls are children.

Deputies determined that one of the two 15-year-old girls also had communicated a bomb threat on Tuesday, March 18 by sending a text message to the cellular telephones of two fellow students, Metts said. One of the two students also received a text message on Thursday that communicated a bomb threat. The two 15-year-old girls told deputies that they communicated the bomb threats in order to try to get classes cancelled for the day.

Questions concerning the statuses of the two 15-year-old girls as students at Gilbert High should be addressed to Lexington County School District One, Metts said.


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