Madison County DA's office discusses seriousness of school threats

A gun threat was called into Sparkman High School on Wednesday. The person responsible could face time in prison.

Posted: Nov 29, 2018 6:38 PM
Updated: Nov 30, 2018 12:16 PM

Madison County Assistant District Attorney, Tim Gann, has a strong message for anyone who threatens a school. His message comes one day after an anonymous gun threat was called into Sparkman High School. The threat shut down two campuses for more than an hour while deputies made sure everyone was safe.

"If the opportunity comes along when something like that happens, we're going to do the best we can to hold people accountable," he said.

The Madison County sheriff's office and school district would only say it was a gun threat. Investigators are working to find out who made the call, and the District Attorney's office is ready to take the case when an arrest is made.

Alle Roper, a twelfth grade student, said she was in the cafeteria, Wednesday, when the school was put on lockdown.

"All they would tell us was to be quiet, and it's really nerve-wracking not knowing what's going on," she said. "Everyone was confused at first, so everyone just stood there for a second and teachers started running and telling us 'go to the kitchen, go to the kitchen,'" she said.

Anyone who calls in a threat to a school or business could face the felony charge of making a "terroristic" threat, according to Gann. If you're caught making a threat and you're 18-years-old, you can be sentenced to 10 years in a state prison, he said.

"My kids are in school. I am keenly aware of the bad things that happen in schools. It's a nationwide issue that we see all the time. We've had them here in Madison County in my tenure at the DA's office, so it's not something that anyone here takes lightly," Gann said.

Gann said juveniles are either given probation or sent to the detention center near Montgomery.

"It's kid prison, and it's awful place to be," he said.

Roper said she hopes her classmates realize how serious the threats are.

"If they actually realized it, then they wouldn't have done it. Maybe if they did, then they just don't care," she said.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office said investigators are following leads and hope to make an arrest in the near future. Roper said a student was taken out of the cafeteria when deputies arrived, however, it's unclear if that student made the threatening call.

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