CORNELIUS, N.C. -- After serious threats over the last week and yet another rumored threat on Wednesday morning, Cornelius Police have increased security inside Hough High School.
Seconds before noon, NBC Charlotte witnessed a number of Cornelius Police Officers leave the high school, after spending most of the morning on the campus. There has been an increased police presence and students say that’s because of another rumored threat against Hough High on Wednesday. Students were not evacuated from the building Wednesday.
Students were texting and talking, and using other forms of social media to talk about a possible shooting which was to take place on the school ground at 10:30 Wednesday morning. There were no incidents at the school Wednesday of any kind, officials say.
Apparently there's supposed to be a school shooting." said a junior as he looked at her cell phone with her classmates. "I saw a lot cops everywhere... I'm not really scared."
A letter was sent to parents from school Principal Dr. Terri Cockerham. In the letter, Cockerham stated over the last week there’s been threats as well as rumors of threats against Hough High School. Cockerham also pointed out there have been arrests made and that students have been disciplined according to the CMS Code of Conduct.
Cockerham says the school takes these threats seriously, and that school officials are working with Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Police and the Cornelius Police Department to investigate each and every tip received.
The school’s principal says social media played a role in some of the inaccurate reports of what’s been going on in the school, and invited parents to attend a special meeting Wednesday evening. CMS administrators, police officers and school staff will be on hand for questions starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the school’s gym.
Students tell NBC Charlotte that classes were about half full on Wednesday.
Dozens of parents checked their students out early Wednesday, while many opted not to bring their children to the school altogether.
"I leaving 'cause it's getting so bad-- there's cops posted up everywhere," said a 17-year-old junior as he left campus Wednesday morning.
The student said he was upset because it has been hard to learn anything because of "all the chaos going on over the last two weeks".
Three students have been arrested in connection with the bomb threats against Hough High School. First Riley Bowlin, then on Monday Bronco Villafranca and a juvenile student whose name was not released.
On Tuesday last week, the school was evacuated twice, once in the morning and again early in the afternoon. The morning evacuation turned up no suspicious devices, however, the second search of the school did. But, authorities deemed the device to be not dangerous.
Then, less than a week later, this past Monday, students were ushered to the school's football field while a thorough search of the campus was conducted. Again, a device was found but was determined to be "non-hazardous".
The next day, Hough High School went on a brief "modified lockdown", restricting movements within the school, while law enforcement investigated a rumor of a threat.