Local News

West Hoke Middle School On Lockdown After 'Hit List' Found

Posted November 23, 2004

— At West Hoke Middle School, three teachers and 17 students were singled out on a "people to die Tuesday" list.

On Tuesday, there will be additional security with metal detectors. Students will be on lockdown with little movement throughout the building during the day. Some special events have also been rescheduled.

"We've narrowed it down to several students and are in the process of talking to them at this time," said Maj. Freddy Johnson, of the Hoke County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said they are talking with 13-year-olds. They have used handwriting from the note to try and match it with school journals. The note was found by a teacher on the floor in an eighth-grade classroom late Friday.

"We do think it was an isolated incident because it was so general," Superintendent Tina Miller said.

Not knowing if the list is a real threat or a prank, the school district's Crisis Management Plan was in effect all day Monday. It will continue Tuesday, when the note said the killings would take place.

Many parents said along with safety concerns, there are other reasons they plan to keep their children home.

"I don't want to send my daughter to school," parent Brenda Clegg said. "There's no way they are going to be able to concentrate because they'll be worried about what's going on."

School systems across the state have adopted zero tolerance policies on violence, even bullying. In most cases, the policy demands immediate and automatic expulsion for any violation. Hoke County school leaders told WRAL if the student is identified, he or she will be expelled.

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