No gun found at school; officials unsure if it was hoax

Published 2:51 pm Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A middle school in Monticello was placed on lockdown Tuesday after authorities received a call of a possible gun on the campus. Despite media reports that the incident was a hoax, Lawrence County officials said Wednesday they weren’t sure that is the case.

Rod Paige Middle School was placed on lockdown at about 11 a.m. when the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call. The Monticello Police Department also responded to the fifth- through eighth-grade school.

“Someone had received a text that someone had a weapon at school and a couple of students said they had seen it,” Bruce Delaughter with Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office said.

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A student was detained but a gun was never found.

“Since there was no gun found we left it with the school,” Delaughter said.

Chris Coon, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department, said several searches were made with a K-9.

“We searched everything twice, and brought in a K-9 and let it search but we never found anything. We’re not sure,” Delaughter said.

The student is not in school today and will have to appear before the school board before he can return “if they let him back,”  Delaughter said.

Students were dismissed on time Tuesday afternoon.

Coon said the school being on lockdown “frustrated a lot of people,” but that it was a necessary security measure. Coon said this is a different response than from the Dec. 15 incident involving a gun threat at Lawrence County High School in which the school was not put on lockdown, according to authorities. The lack of the security measure at that time frustrated parents.