Carson High School briefly on lockdown for assumed online threat

Published 6:31 pm Friday, January 25, 2019

By Shavonne Walker

CHINA GROVE — Carson High School was on a temporary lockdown Friday morning after a possible online threat from a former student.

Authorities say the threat was mistakenly believed to be aimed at the school.

China Grove Police Chief Andrew Deal said a post on Facebook referred to “something possibly bad happening.”

He said a detective investigated the post Thursday night and found that Carson was not a target. The former student now lives in Catawba County.

The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office charged 16-year-old Tanner Allen Hutchinson with making a false report concerning mass violence on an educational property. He was being held under a $5,000 secured bond.

A Connect-Ed message was sent to parents by Carson Principal Angelo DelliSanti at 9:30 a.m. Friday

“This morning, I was notified that a former student made a social media threat that has been circulating around our community overnight,” the message said. “Since that time, I have been working with school officials and the China Grove Police Department to ensure school is safe for our students today.

“We have notified the proper authorities in the student’s area. Despite the fact that the student no longer goes to Carson and we do not believe the threat was made against Carson, we are going to begin the day in a yellow lockdown, which means that nobody will be permitted outside of the school. We will also have additional police officers present on campus throughout the day.

“With this knowledge, we are going to begin school at the regularly scheduled time and will follow a normal bell schedule for the day.

“Thank you for your support and patience as we work to keep your children as safe.”

The lockdown status was lifted at 9:50 a.m., and DelliSanti sent an updated message.

“At this time, we have confirmed that the person sharing threats on social media is in police custody in another county. Therefore, we are lifting the yellow lockdown and will resume a normal schedule for the rest of the day.

“We will continue to have extra police officers on campus and take other precautions as we see fit; however, I wanted to pass this update along to our entire community so that everyone can rest a bit easier. Additionally, thank you to everyone — parents, students, community members and members of the China Grove Police Department — for all doing your part to keep our school safe today.”

Some Facebook posts by Carson parents indicated that many opted to take their children out of school for the day because of the supposed threat.