Officials Resolve Threat Against Piggott Schools
A threat against Piggott Schools was reported Thursday morning, April 20, by Superintendent Charlie Powell, who indicated at the time the parties responsible had confessed to the crime. At this point it appears the threat was made in jest and no harm to the local school, or students, was actually intended.
Powell notified parents and staff by way of a SchoolReach call at 9:47 a.m. Thursday to inform them of the matter, and report it had been resolved.
“There was a threat made against the school district for Friday, April 21,” Powell said in the announcement. “The people that have made this threat have confessed. The Piggott School District takes these things very seriously and the safety of the students and staff members are of utmost importance for the district.”
Later in the day, Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller sent a news release to the media concerning the event, noting the suspects are juveniles. The statement indicated his department was first alerted Saturday, when graffiti was found at Chalk Bluff Park.
“The graffiti referenced a possible shooting to take place at the Piggott School District. After an intensive investigation, Sheriff Miller reports that the individuals responsible for the graffiti were identified and are being charged with Falsely Making a Terroristic Threat. The case will be referred to the Clay County Juvenile Department.”
Miller noted the threat was scratched into the wood of the overlook at the local park, although the teen who was responsible apparently tried later, without success, to remove it. Later, it was noticed by a passer-by, and photographed, and the sheriff's office was informed.
In turn, Miller's department immediately notified the Piggott Police Department and the school district.
During the course of the investigation three suspects were identified, and taken into custody on Thursday. According to Miller, two were students at PHS while the third had dropped-out.
Later, two of the juveniles admitted their involvement to investigators and the third was released without being charged.
In response to the threat, there was a strong police presence at both Piggott campuses on Thursday. And, despite the resolution of the matter officers and deputies were also on-hand Friday.
School officials also held an assembly to re-assure the students, and met with staff members concerning the matter.
In the release, Miller offered his thanks and commendation to the Piggott Police Department, and Piggott School District, for their assistance in the matter. He further clarified that no overt actions were taken to carry out the threat, adding-- “the Clay County Sheriff's Department, Piggott Police Department and the Piggott School District's first priority is the safety of the students and staff.”
Powell later indicated the school board would make any decisions concerning possible expulsion of the two students involved.
“Thank you to the local law enforcement and sheriff's office for helping in this matter,” Powell noted in the call to patrons. “The continued support of the community is greatly appreciated.”