No danger means no charges, says Cobb schools about campus threat

Three students detained after a threat made over walkie-talkie in a Smyrna high school won’t face charges because “there was … no danger to any of our students,” Cobb County School District officials said Tuesday.

The district has not charged students in past incidents where they could have faced criminal charges. Officials did not respond Tuesday to questions about why.

Campbell High School was placed on “Code Red” lockdown Monday for more than an hour as authorities searched for who made a threat “via walkie talkie,” Cobb County Police officials said.

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The lockdown was lifted after three students were detained, according to school officials. No one was injured.

“There was no threat to the campus and no danger to any of our students at any time,” the district said in a statement. “After joint investigation by the Cobb County Police Department, the Cobb Schools Police Department and the Smyrna Police Department, three students were briefly detained and subsequently released.”

The county and city police and district attorney’s office said Tuesday they weren’t involved in deciding whether to charge the students.

April Washington, whose son attends the school, said she was thankful the school district and local police quickly handled what could have been a tragic incident.

“As a parent of a teen, I’m aware teenagers can and will make impulsive decisions, and they may not be fully aware of the consequences of their actions,” she said. “While I’m shaken by Monday’s events, I would like the school and police to get to the bottom of what took place with the three students involved. I’m thankful no one got hurt.”

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Cobb County has declined criminal charges against students in other incidents, including several accused of threatening violence following February’s shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school. A student who threatened black people on social media  was initially removed from his school in 2017, but returned a short time later.

In Fulton County, by contrast, a middle-school student was arrested in February after allegedly threatening violence against other students the weekend after the Florida shooting.

Cobb Schools recently outfitted its high school teachers with Alert Point, personal panic buttons they can wear around their necks. When set off, a message with crucial information — including the activated button’s location — is immediately sent to the school’s front office and district police officials.

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Cobb Schools police Chief Ron Storey said recently that all high schools would receive the devices this year, with every school outfitted within two years.

Cobb County School District officials gave Alert Point a shout-out in the statement about the alleged threat, but officials did not say whether the system contributed to the police response.

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