NC student made mass violence threat against peers on school bus, officials say

A school bus yard.
A school bus yard. Tri-City Herald

A North Carolina student faces criminal charges after a bus driver reported hearing the student making verbal threats regarding fellow students on Wednesday afternoon.

The 16-year-old Macon County student “made more than one statement threatening the safety and well-being of fellow students,” as he exited the school bus, local officials said in a statement Thursday morning. The student is charged with communicating threats, a misdemeanor, and making a false report of mass violence to a school, a felony.

The incident occurred the same afternoon of the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in the past five years, in which a 19-year-old is charged with killing 17 people in Parkland, Fla.

The Macon County bus driver immediately reported the student’s comments to school leaders, officials said. Interviews and video pulled from the school bus led to charges against the student. The incident remains under investigation.

“The threats made yesterday were extremely serious in nature and all of our staff took the appropriate steps immediately following the statements,” the statement from Macon Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin and Sheriff Robert Holland said. “Threats of any kind against students and/or faculty will not be tolerated. These types of threats will be investigated thoroughly and prosecuted if appropriate.”

The student was arrested and placed under $10,000 bond. He is also subject to disciplinary action by the school system, officials said.

The school system provided additional support services for student and faculty on Thursday.