Limestone County school officials are beefing up its security measures after a possible threat. Dwain Croskey, Jr. and Caeleb Kegley, both 18 years old, were arrested on Thursday after three cars were vandalized at two high schools in the area. However, shortly after the incidents, a rumor about a possible shooting began to circulate on social media. WAAY 31 talked to parents, students, and officials to separate fact from fiction.
“At first, I started crying because I was like, ‘What is mom going to do, what is mom going to do? Am I going to get in trouble?’” That was Ashley Bennington’s first reaction when she walked out of Clements High School and saw bullet holes in her car. She then became worried. "It terrified me to think that someone could come on the campus and have a weapon.”
And Bennington wasn’t the only person affected. Another car at Clements was shot at, and a car's tires were slashed at Tanner High School. Bennington’s mom and many other parents are upset they didn’t know about it until WAAY 31 informed them. "Parents did not know that they needed to keep a watchful eye out when they dropped their kids off," said Bennington's mother, Stephanie Riggle.
However, school officials say they had the best of intentions when they chose not to send out an alert to parents about the incidents. "We believed, at that time, had we sent it out, we would’ve created mass chaos, confusion, and alarm unnecessarily," said Superintendent of Limestone County Schools, Dr. Tom Sisk. But parents say that’s exactly what happened.
After the incidents at Clements and Tanner High, rumors began to spread on social media about another possible shooting planned for Friday, but officials assure WAAY 31 there is no real threat. "Social media has been a challenge, to say the least, in this regard. Things become out of hand very quickly," said the public information officer with Limestone County Sheriff's Office, Stephen Young. “Guarantee you that if the facts had been given out to begin with, there would not have been the rumor mill of a possible shooting," said Riggle.
As a precaution, officials say there will be more sheriff's deputies at all Limestone County Schools on Friday, as well as increased patrols in the surrounding areas. Officials also tell WAAY 31 that they are expecting to make at least two more arrests in this case.
The superintendent wants parents to know that keeping your students home from school on Friday will not be considered an excused absence.