Threats against school were hoaxes to create ‘fear and panic,’ Wayne County officials say

Wayne County News

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — Wayne County officials said that a high school was the target of “threats and rumors of threats” throughout the week that all turned out to be hoaxes.

The social media incidents targeted Charles B. Aycock High School in Pikeville, according to a Friday news release from Wayne County schools and the county sheriff’s office.

The threats started Wednesday with a social media post that a shooting would take place at the school Thursday, according to Ken Derksen, executive director of Wayne County Public Schools.

While officials were investigating the initial threat, another threat “began circulating at the school on Friday,” Derksen said in the news release.

Students shared two separate screenshots from Snapchat that “appeared to be communicating a threat of violence at the school,” the news release said.

Deputies responded to provide extra security.

The later threat for Friday was “a copycat crime had occurred with the intent to create fear and panic,” the news release said.

The “rapid spread” of rumors included false info that a student had a gun in a bathroom at the school.

The news release stressed that there is no credible threat of violence at the school.

Officials also said that deputies “determined where the social media threats generated from and that they were never originally written for” Charles B. Aycock High School.

Wayne County Public Schools superintendent Dr. David Lewis said the threats were a distraction and took away from learning at the school.

“This week’s threats have cost Charles B. Aycock students valuable instructional time and have unnecessarily redirected law enforcement attention and resources,” Lewis said in the news release.

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