Officials: No threat at Eden center
by Gary Hanner
Feb 20, 2013 | 3298 views |  0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ASHVILLE — School officials said Friday that rumors of a bomb threat at Eden Career Technical Center earlier this week were nothing more than rumors. However, authorities with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department and the St. Clair County School System said they required immediate action.
 
Sheriff Terry Surles said as soon as he was notified, his department locked down the school Wednesday morning.
 
“I immediately took action and secured the school,” Surles said. “In this age of technology, cell phones and texts are good ways to get stuff started. There was no substance to this, just conversation.”
 
According to Chief Investigator Joe Sweatt, these rumors surfaced on Monday, Feb. 11.
 
“We received a telephone call from the Leeds (school resource) officer,” Sweatt said. “Some of the Leeds kids that attend the trade school had received text messages about the possibility of a bomb threat at the trade school. These kids showed the messages to their parents, and the parents called the Leeds SRO officer.”
 
Sweatt said the rumors began with a student from Springville. Springville High School principal Dr. Robert Harris said the student in question has withdrawn from school.
 
“He is no longer a student at our school,” Harris said.
 
Authorities searched the school after locking it down.
 
“We had about 12 officers there Wednesday morning, and locked the school down for about an hour,” Sweatt said. “We searched, but did not find anything.”
 
Surles assured citizens that his officers will respond “every time something like this happens.”
 
On Wednesday, St. Clair County Schools Superintendent Jenny Seals released the following statement:
 
“St. Clair Eden Career Technical Center was under lockdown this morning for about 30 minutes due to a rumor regarding a possible bomb. This incident involved a student that no longer attends school at Eden Career Tech Center. 
 
“The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department came out this morning and conducted a search of the building and found nothing. The incident is still being investigated by the Sheriff’s Department.
 
“We take all rumors very serious at any of our campuses. As always, the well being of our students and staff continues to be a number one priority and we are doing everything possible to insure their safety.”

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