Student charged for threat made toward Johnson County Schools

Published: Nov. 13, 2019 at 5:50 PM EST
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As many schools across Eastern Kentucky were closed earlier this week due to the cold weather, it was a different situation for Johnson County Schools after a threat was made.

Superintendent Thom Cochran said a generalized threat was made toward the schools Wednesday.

"We have parents who were scared, students who were scared," Cochran told WYMT Thursday. "Nationwide, there are so many things going on. And it's scary."

The school system worked alongside Johnson County Sheriff's Office and Paintsville City Police Department to identify the person who made the threat.

"We were fortunate in that we received information at a time when no student was in harm's way," Cochran said.

Cochran said the person was identified and placed in custody.

According to the Paintsville Police Department, the threat came in the form of a social media post by a student. The post was a photo of a firearm cabinet, accompanied by a generalized threat.

"Students were never in any danger related to this incident," Cochran said in a statement before thanking law enforcement for its quick and thorough action in the situation.

"We went out to the juvenile's residence. The parents gave us his electronics, and while speaking with the parents, the juvenile volunteered some information," said Paintsville Police Captain Jonathan Holbrook.

Holbrook said the student was charged and taken to a detention center. However, the name and charges of the student will not be released because he is underage.

Cochran told WYMT he is aware that many people are wary when they are not given all of the details they want, but he hopes they will understand.

"My first priority is to make sure that every student is safe, as well as every adult," he said. "It's not trying to hide things. It's just trying to follow the law and do the right thing."

He said the community is blessed that the issue did not end differently, adding that the school system depends on the community for information or tips regarding any possible threats. He said he encourages students to use the

if they see or hear something that worries them.

"Student safety is of the highest priority at Johnson County Schools and violations of the law are handled in conjunction with local law enforcement and will be prosecuted in accordance with all local and state laws," Cochran wrote.

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