1 child in custody, 1 held for questioning over threats to Brookhaven schools

Published 2:45 pm Friday, September 16, 2022

An 11-year-old is in custody and a 12-year-old is being held for questioning in connection with threats against the Brookhaven School District campuses Friday.

The 11-year-old has been presented to Youth Court and will be sent to the Natchez Training School detention center, Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins said.

“The parents of these two are working with us. They gave us their phones and consent to search,” Collins said. The parents have not aided the children in wrongdoing, the chief said.

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All Brookhaven School District campuses had increased law enforcement presence Friday, following a threat made on social media Thursday evening. The threat was shared by students, then adults, leading to what the chief called mass hysteria.

“We take all threats seriously,” said Collins. “This ties up manpower and everything. We’re doing the best we can to address everything.”

The chief expressed his thanks to Sheriff Steve Rushing and his deputies, as well as Civil Defense Director Chris Reid, for their assistance.

“We are working with the Sheriff’s Office and Civil Defense — all law enforcement agencies are working together to keep our schools safe.”

District Superintendent Dr. Rod Henderson published a statement Friday afternoon that said, in part:

“Today our beloved district was disrupted by the selfish acts of an individual who saw fit to spread threats of violence on social media. That person has been found and will be dealt with in every way that the law will allow us. I need everyone … to understand that I will not tolerate these acts of reckless and selfish behavior in any form or fashion. We will not allow such actions to derail or divert (BSD) from achieving the goals that have been set in place for this school year. I will do everything in my power to find and pursue any individual who puts at risk the ability of our students to learn and of our teachers to deliver superior academic instruction in a positive and safe environment.”

Visit the district’s Facebook page to read the entire statement or click here.