12/05/04 — Threat note at school investigated

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Threat note at school investigated

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 5, 2004 2:06 AM

Investigators don't know if a "hit list" found Friday morning in the girl's bathroom at Rosewood High School was a joke or not, but they are treating it as a serious matter.

Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders said the letter includes a list of 13 students and makes threats against them. The investigation, which started immediately after the discovery of the letter, continues.

He said there will be extra security at the school next week.

"Most likely it was a student," he said. "Whether it was a joke or not, we're handling it as of a serious nature. Whoever did it needs to realize it's a serious thing to make those kinds of threats. ... The investigators are taking every precaution."

Kristy Fair, public information officer for the school system, applauded the student who discovered the letter.

"The safety of our students is our top priority at all times," she said. "We're proud that the student that found the list immediately turned it over to school administrators."

A letter was sent home to parents Friday explaining what happened. The letter from Rosewood Principal Dottie Hobbs told about the threatening note.

She said officers are reviewing a surveillance tape of students who were close to the bathroom at the time the list was found. The parents of the students on the list have been contacted, she said.

She asked the parents to encourage their children to report any suspicious activity to the school office at 705-6050 or Crime Stoppers at 735-2255.

Sheriff's Capt. George Raecher said investigators are interviewing numerous students, trying to determine why the letter was written. The investigators don't know if it was a copycat case similar to those in the news recently at other schools outside Wayne County.

The previous week in Raeford, a teacher found a hit list at West Hoke Middle School, and security was tightened at that school. And in Creedmore, a student confessed to writing a similar note that was found on the floor at G.C. Hawley Middle School. That student told school officials it was a joke.