A job well done… Quick action results in de-escalation of threat at Elizabethton High School

Published 12:37 am Wednesday, November 20, 2019




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The words ‘school threat’ immediately sends cold chills down the spine of parents, students, school administrators, and law enforcement.

One never likes to think that anything like that can’t happen here in Carter County but that thought evaporated like a vapor on Monday as a result of a threat toward Elizabethton High School on the social media platform SnapChat.

But thanks to the gazelle-like efforts of the Elizabethton City School administration working in correlation with local law enforcement teams, that threat was quickly neutralized to ensure students that a safe environment for learning would be theirs on Tuesday.

Many parents, however, elected to keep their students at home even though a juvenile suspect had been apprehended on Monday evening as the high school especially was noticeable empty in classrooms throughout the day due to the high absenteeism.

The Elizabethton Police Department was very visible when faculty and students arrived on campus Tuesday morning as just an extra sign of precaution to make sure everything flowed smoothly.

Late in the afternoon, Dr. Corey Gardenhour – Director of the Elizabethton City School System released the following in its entirety:

“I want to extend a sincere Thank You to students, parents, and members of the community for having the courage to report the issue of a non-specific threat at EHS this week.

“While we are relieved that the incident has been resolved, we will be reviewing safety protocols and working closely with law enforcement on any areas that we feel may need improvement to ensure a safe learning environment for all students.

“The coordination of various law enforcement agencies including the Elizabethton Police Department, FBI, TBI, and Homeland Security worked to resolve the matter quickly,” continued Gardenhour.

“I appreciate our local law enforcement for being onsite to survey the property as work is still going on today and will continue in the coming weeks.

“I want parents to know that we are keenly aware of the society that we are living in which means we must take proactive steps to keep each other safe.

“Much can be done in homes to help protect all students such as reporting issues and concerns to school administrators.

“I would like to encourage parents and guardians to maintain an open line of communication with your kids,” said Gardenhour. “If you have concerns about your child’s wellbeing, services are available through your child’s school.

“We have dedicated staff with counselors on hand to help students and families address problems or concerns.

“We are blessed to have local partnerships with many community agencies to help meet the needs of students and families.”

Dr. Corey Gardenhour