Parents push for Orange County Schools to allow excused absences following school threats

Orange County News

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Parents in the Orange County School district are concerned about the recent string of school threats at Cedar Ridge High School.

According to Orange County school officials, a message was found written on the gym floor late Thursday afternoon.

The vandal specified he or she would engage in gun violence on Nov. 14.

The district placed Cedar Ridge High School on a soft lockdown on Friday and had sheriff deputies at the school throughout the day.

School officials said this is the third threat at Cedar Ridge High School this school year and the second threat in the last week alone.

On Monday, a similar threat was found written on the wall in the men’s bathroom.

On Oct. 25, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office arrested 18-year-old Dylan George for sending an anonymous text threatening to shoot up the school.

Dylan George

Janet Bogan’s daughter attends Cedar Ridge High School.

Bogan received alerts Thursday evening regarding the most recent threat, but she said there was little information about what the threat actually was.

“Why aren’t we getting a little bit more information than just ‘we had another threat on campus – we’re taking measures,’” Bogan said. “We don’t know if the threats are credible or not.”

Bogan decided to keep her daughter home from school on Friday because of the threat. She is pushing for the district to allow excused absences for students on days following these threats.

“Something needs to happen, they do need to provide the ability for them to have an excused absence when these threats occur, specifically when a particular day is tagged,” Bogan said.

Bogan said she is also pushing for stricter punishment for these school threats.    

Dylan George was in jail for one week and was suspended from school for 10 days.      

Bogan argued that there needs to be harsher consequences for making these school threats.         

“It’s not a joke, and it does create such ripples throughout the school community,” Bogan said. “If you’re joking and you do that, you absolutely should have very serious consequences.”

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is still searching for who is responsible for the two threats at Cedar Ridge High School this week.

The interim superintendent for the Orange County School district sent out the following statement late Friday regarding the recent school threats:

“We are taking these threats seriously and are actively working with the Orange County Sheriff ‘s Department to ensure the safety of all students by increasing security measures on the Cedar Ridge High School campus. My top priority is the safety of students, staff, and our community. Moving forward, we will continue to work hand-in-hand with law enforcement to help students understand the consequences of school threats, while also ensuring our families and students know about the social, emotional and mental health support systems we have in place.”

School officials said they had increased security measures at the school that will be continued all next week.

Additionally, Sheriff Charles Blackwood authorized a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who made either threat this week.

Any student with information should get in contact with either of the school resource officers or ask a teacher or administrator to facilitate such contact.

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