Grundy County schools were on lockdown Tuesday, December 18, which created some scary times for parents. Grundy County Sheriff Brent Myers told reporters that his officers took precautions after threats were made by a grandfather.
According to Sheriff Myers, a grandfather was upset about his granddaughter being bullied at Coalmont Elementary School. The sheriff stated that three weeks ago the grandfather told a school secretary “this is why people bring guns to school.”
Sheriff Myers told reporters that the grandfather was questioned but never arrested or charged. The sheriff explained that the grandfather’s remarks were taken as a statement and not a threat.
According to Sheriff Myers, after the Connecticut shootings, people began to hear about the grandfather’s statement and then the statement started to appear on Facebook. There was obviously a lot of concern among students and parents about a possible incident and as the result a number of students were kept home. Those that did not stay home were checked out of school early by their parents.
Myers said the comments that were on Facebook were an overreaction and that it created panic among parents.
In an official press release the Grundy County Board of Education noted that “sadly some few individuals are capitalizing” on the tragedy in Newton, Conn., by spreading baseless rumors of possible violence toward schoolchildren.
“These fear mongers are little better than the deranged shooter who took so many innocent lives last week, for they intentionally spread panic at a time when we are so mindful of how vulnerable we all are,” the press release stated.
Even though there was no truth to the rumor, school officials said they will work with the sheriff’s department in coming weeks to “identify steps that can be taken to improve the safety of the community schools.”
Grundy County schools will be in session for the remainder of the week.
The sheriff said he was glad that there was no problem.