Battery Creek students safe after Halloween gun threat, Beaufort Co. sheriff’s office says

Students at Battery Creek High School were participating in a school lockdown drill Thursday when police received a call claiming that a student at the school might have a gun, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Thursday afternoon.

However, there was no threat to school safety, police said.

“It happened around 2:30 p.m.,” said sheriff’s office spokesperson Maj. Bob Bromage.

“Deputies were able to determine that the call to dispatch resulted from a joke that a male student made that he had a firearm,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a news release. “That student was identified, located and it was determined that he did not have a firearm on school property.”

The student is being interviewed.

“In today’s world, school safety is simply not a joking matter,” said Dave Grissom, the district’s director of security.

This is the second time a rumor has prompted a Beaufort County school lockdown in as many weeks.

On Oct. 23, May River High School in Bluffton was placed under full lockdown after police received a similar threat about a possible gun. Investigators determined that threat to be based on a rumor.

But first, the rumor sent kids running out of the building in fear and prompted parents to drive to the school after seeing comments on social media about an active shooter.

A post about the May River lockdown in the 20,000-plus member Facebook group “Bluffton/Hilton Head Ask and Answer (original)“ garnered more than 230 comments, with some suggesting that there was an active shooter at the school.

“It’s def not a drill she said,” one commenter wrote about her daughter. “The principal announced they do not know why have been instructed to lockdown. My daughter is huddled in a corner with the other students.”

“My son was told by another kid that this boy was going to shoot up the school,” another commenter wrote. “I did report it but didnt know what to do as it was hearsay and that can really screw someone’s life up with false accusations.”

This story will be updated.

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Rachel Jones covers education for the Island Packet and the Beaufort Gazette. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has worked for the Daily Tar Heel and Charlotte Observer. Rachel grew up in Ayden, NC, surrounded by teachers.