Person in custody after threatening South Georgia middle school

By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 1, 2018

TIFT COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- A person is in custody after making threatening calls to a Tift County middle school on Thursday.

In a series of Facebook posts, Tift County Schools informed parents that, before 10 a.m., Eighth Street Middle School had "received two phone calls about potential threats." TCS said that the school building was secured by law enforcement and school staff, and that safety protocols were being followed, assured everyone's safety and asked parents to not attempt to check their children out of the building.

At 11 a.m., TCS updated parents in a follow up Facebook post, which read in it's entirety:

"First, we would like to thank everyone who assisted today in keeping our students safe. Anytime there is even a hint of potential danger for our students, staff, parents and local law enforcement agencies all come together. Here’s what happened this morning, and here’s the reasoning behind our decisions.

The ESMS front office received a call from a private number from a person who said she was coming to the school and we “better be ready”. We immediately began with our safety procedures, placing staff members at every entrance around the school and notified the proper authorities. Shortly after that, a student received a phone call on her cell phone saying he was going to bomb the school. Staff and law enforcement continued to search the building. Students were kept in their classrooms, and anyone who came to the school or was leaving was physically searched.

We did not evacuate, and here’s why.

The first call indicated the threat was on the outside of the building. The second call said the threat was inside, but the call came from outside of the building. This is an incredibly difficult choice to make, but our emergency training and recent attacks have shown it is generally safer for the students to remain secure inside. An active shooter can make a threat that requires evacuation and then attack students and staff once they are outside. We believed it was safer for everyone (students and staff) to stay in their classrooms.

We have conducted multiple, thorough searches of the school, and have found nothing suspicious. The threat time has passed, and we are going back to a normal schedule and operations. We will continue to have an increased local law enforcement presence.”

At noon, TCS followed by saying the individual "who appears to have made the threatening calls to ESMS is currently in police custody."

As of now, WCTV has not confirmed an identity for the individual.