Police investigating threats made at several local schools

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Several school districts in the Charlotte area are investigating after threats were made to different schools this week.

Ardrey Kell High School

Students at Ardrey Kell High School were told they could not bring backpacks to school Friday, after a threat was made earlier this week.

Other extra security measures were also put in place, officials told Channel 9. School officials said there would be more police officers and security personnel around the school, monitoring students.

There was not a homeroom period and students were asked to show their IDs and agendas, which is a regular requirement. Students were not allowed to bring gym bags or instruments to school, in addition to backpacks.

The measures come after students found the message "School shooting, February 17th, don't come to school" written on a bathroom wall.

"It literally could be anyone that is sitting next to you in class, anyone that your friends know or your siblings know," said senior Lauren Freitag.

Officials said they don't know who posted the threat and will continue to investigate all possible leads.

Principal David Switzer called parents Thursday night and told them they could keep their students home, and Channel 9 noticed that the parking lot was much emptier than usual on Friday morning.

School officials said the added safety measures will be in place to reduce opportunities for anyone to bring a weapon on campus, as student safety remains a top priority.

There were about 15 extra police officers and security personnel at the school Friday.

The principal old Channel 9 that it is possible the threat was made by someone who's not a student, but that they have been interviewing their own students, and showing pictures of the handwriting to students, who have been identifying their friends as potential suspects.

The principal said they haven't found who wrote the threat, so they're taking it seriously.

“We take everything credible,” said Switzer. “Throughout the week we've been talking to kids and then kids’ parents, and just working through all their leads."

Letter to parents from Ardrey Kell:

"Good evening, parents. 

This is David Switzer, principal at Ardrey Kell High School, calling to provide an update on the recent threats of violence at Ardrey Kell.

Throughout the week, we have had additional police officers and security personnel stationed around the school monitoring student movement.

I am happy to report that all school operations have proceeded as usual without incident. The Ardrey Kell administration and law enforcement officials have interviewed a significant amount of students who have been identified by students, staff and parents.

At this time, we do not know who posted the bathroom threat, so we have continued to investigate all possible leads. 

In preparation for tomorrow, I met with all faculty and staff members after school today to reinforce school procedures and policies.  

Friday will be an instructional day with 90-minute classes and no Homeroom period, which will limit the amount of transitions for students.  

Once students arrive to school, they will be asked to show their student ID and agenda, which is a regular requirement for all AK students, before entering the building. 

In addition, students will not be allowed to bring book bags, gym bags, or instruments to school tomorrow.  As suggested by numerous parents, this is an additional safety measure put in place to reduce the opportunities for bringing a weapon on campus. 

I appreciate all the support that you have shown our students and staff this week.  It has helped keep everyone focused on the task at hand – providing a quality education for our students. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please email or call me." 

Central Academy of Technology and Arts

Extra security is on hand at Central Academy of Technology and Arts in Monroe because of a threat a student made earlier this week, officials told Channel 9 Friday morning.

The Monroe Police Department told Eyewitness News that, through social media sites, they uncovered threats they said a student made.

Police said they have arrested the student and have charged them with communicating threats. They have also been suspended from the school.

Investigators have not confirmed what the threat was, but said extra officers were on campus Friday morning and the the threat was not credible.

Central Academy is a magnet-based high school.

Channel 9 is working to learn what charges the student is facing and what threat they made.

Parents of students at the school received the following message Friday morning:

Good morning. I want to provide you with accurate information about an incident that occurred earlier this week.  We had a CATA student involved in an incident related to a threat.  Please know that both the school investigation and the law enforcement investigation found no credible threat.  School staff worked with law enforcement on the investigation and the student was disciplined according to the Code of Conduct.

We take all safety matters seriously and always work closely with officers when information is brought to our attention. As a precaution, there are additional officers at our school today.  We are operating on a normal schedule and instruction will continue throughout the day.

We appreciate your partnership with CATA. If you have any questions we are happy to speak with you.

Sun Valley High School

Union County school district officials told Channel 9 that they are investigating a threat at Sun Valley High School.

Authorities have not identified the student and are working with the sheriff's office as they investigate the treat, which was received Thursday night.

Officials have not said what kind of threat was made.

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