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South Florence High School officials address unfounded threat rumors

December 8, 2017 GMT

FLORENCE, S.C. – On Friday, officials at South Florence High School addressed rumors and reports involving campus safety that arose on Thursday involving guns and explosives.

According to South Florence Principal Carol Hill, the school day began with a report of a student-made threat to campus safety.

The threat was investigated by local law enforcement and was contained before the beginning of the school day at 7:15 a.m., according a media release.

Hill said the school later received an additional social media threat, which indicated a weapon and explosives were on campus and that a person was going to use them.

“Law enforcement officers [investigated] the threat, which included interviewing students and following leads,” she said. “School administrators were very proactive regarding the response to these searches. No weapons or explosives were found, but parents who wished to sign out their students because of concerns were accommodated.”

Before students arrived at South Florence on Friday, law enforcement official conducted a search of the campus in its entirety. No threat was found by law enforcement, and students were cleared to begin class.

As a precautionary measure, students were not allowed to bring book bags on campus Friday, though Chromebooks in their cases were permitted. As an additional safety measure, students entered through the gymnasium, and additional law enforcement officers were present.

“The building was completely searched early this morning by the Sheriff’s Department personnel who used dogs that are trained to sniff out explosives,” Hill said. “We were all clear this morning and we look forward to a day of safety and learning.”

In a message to parents at the end of the day on Thursday, Hill thanked South Florence families and staff members for patience and cooperation in light of the responses to threats throughout the day and for their hard work responding to parent phone calls, texts, sign-outs and emails.