Three juveniles charged in JDC school threat investigation

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Law enforcement officers have charged three juveniles in relation to the recent social media threats made to the Jefferson Davis County School District. The juveniles are charged with making terroristic threats. They have all been suspended from school pending a youth court hearing sometime in March.

“We will not stop until each person is held accountable for these actions,” said Jefferson Davis County Sheriff Ron Strickland. “The children in our county deserve to feel safe at school.”

Threats to the district were made on Instagram Feb. 9, Feb. 15 and Feb. 16, as well as one in December 2021. All three schools in the district were on lockdown for several hours after each threat. “The terroristic threats disrupt the entire educational process and create stress for our teaching and learning environment,” said JDC Superintendent Ike Haynes. The district moved to virtual instruction Feb. 18 and 19. “Our children have a right to learn without fear and they have a right to go to school in a safe, healthy environment. That is a foundational promise we make to our children. These threats must stop. We cannot have our children placed in harms way.”

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The threats were made from four different Instagram accounts with the four threats:  “Y’all better not send yall kids I’m doing a school shoot out at jdc elementary,” “shooting at JDC elementary,”  “jdc ain’t safe we know what time y’all getting off lockdown it’s up today I’m coming watch out” and “Doing a shootout at JDC Elementary School.”

The Jefferson Davis County Sheriff’s Department is being assisted with the investigation by the MBI, MASAIC, Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and the Jefferson Davis County School District.

The Mississippi Department of Homeland Security released a statement regarding the bomb and shooting threats across the state over the past several weeks.

“The Mississippi Office of Homeland Security takes these threats seriously and we work closely with our local and federal partners to fully investigate these crimes and prepare them for prosecution. Terroristic threats are a serious felony offense, and we will hold those who make these threats accountable,” said Baxter Kruger, Executive Director, Mississippi Office of Homeland Security.