Breaking News
More () »

Richland Two leaders talk next steps after bomb threats, hoaxes

A week after several Richland Two schools were evacuated, district leaders say they're implementing new procedures to keep students and classrooms safe.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — After a number of bomb threats and hoaxes at several Richland School District Two schools, the board of trustees is putting a plan in place to curb future threats.

It was a scary and frustrating week for Jemma Smith, the mother of a Richland Two student. She says a string of bomb threats last week caused major disruptions for her family.

"The fear is daily. I am not comfortable sending my kid out to school," Smith said. "That's an unfortunate position many parents are in today. We are fearful that they many never come back home."

On Tuesday, members of Richland Two's board of trustees held a special called meeting to discuss recent threats their response to safety concerns.

School Board Chair Lindsay Agostini said a committee was created with a focus on safety.

"We have started a safety and security committee that will be lead by Angela Nash," Agostini said. "They are going to sort of guide and work with members of the community to figure out different options on how to keep our schools safer."

Though preliminary plans aren't available for the public yet, Agostini said increased security measures like metal detectors could deter students from making threats, or committing real acts of violence.

"I think that the school district can benefit from using metal detectors and just having more teachers in the classroom, more staff, more eyes, more ears."

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott was at Tuesday’s meeting. He says the department plans to have a bigger role with any future threats.

"One of the things we talked about at the school board last night was making sure that we're a part of that decision making process. Is the school going to be evacuated? Are the kids going to be kept out of the schools? We can determine very quickly if it's a credible threat or not."

The board's next meeting is February 14th.

Before You Leave, Check This Out