Rumors of threats at schools concern area parents



LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. - Fears seem to be heightened right now because of the Connecticut school shooting. Eyewitness News has received many calls and emails into the newsroom about rumors of threats at schools in the area. 

On Thursday, the Lincoln County sheriff said even though they are just rumors, his department takes them seriously.

The sheriff met with his command staff Thursday about all of the rumors circulating in their county.

The rumors have mothers like Crystal Johnson worried.

“It makes me want to take the kids out of school,” she said.

On Wednesday, someone reported seeing a man with a gun near Iron Station Elementary School. The school was immediately put on lockdown.

“They sat in the closet for an hour,” Johnson said.

Three of her children go to school there.

“She said some of the kids was crying,” Johnson said.

Turns out, it was just a man with a walking stick.

There have been rumors of planned school shootings Friday at all three Lincoln County high schools.

“Any rumor that you have, you have to follow up on,” Sheriff David Carpenter said.

Carpenter said they started with people postings threats on Facebook and Twitter.

There have also been rumors of students creating hit lists.

“We are doing the best we can to work with the school administration and our agency to make sure the schools are as safe as possible,” Carpenter said.

On Friday, there will be an extra officer at all high schools in the county, and at least one officer at every other elementary and middle school.

They will also put metal detectors at some schools.

The sheriff said Friday is the last school day of the year, and it will be the safest.

Eyewitness News spoke with the Lincolnton police chief. He said they haven't had any threats inside the city limits, but they have beefed up security at all of their schools since the Connecticut school shooting.