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Student charged with reporting fake gun threats against Union County schools, deputies say

The alleged threat was reported on the "Say Something" platform, but deputies say the student confessed to fabricating the threat.

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — After classes were dismissed on Dec. 8 at a Union County middle and high school, the Union County Sheriff's Office and Union County Public Schools said they were notified of a potential threat involving a firearm that later turned out to be totally false.

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The potential threat was toward Piedmont Middle or High school and was published on social media from there it was reported through an application known as "See something, say something". 

Although the threat was taken seriously, officials told WCNC Charlotte there was no information provided that would suggest that an actual firearm was seen or brandished in any way by any student at the school during the school day.

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Later Thursday evening, the sheriff's office provided more details. According to them, the Piedmont Middle School student made the report on the platform, prompting an investigation from UCPS staff. Deputies interviewed the student Thursday morning, who then confessed to fabricating the threat. The student is now charged with making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property, which is a felony. State law prohibits identifying the student because of their age.

Multiple Threats to Local Schools Results in Juvenile being Criminally Charged Late yesterday afternoon, a Piedmont...

Posted by Union County Sheriff's Office, Monroe, NC on Thursday, December 9, 2021

During this investigation, deputies said they got more reports about Porter Ridge High School and Parkwood High School, which were reported Wednesday evening. Deputies said the threat tied to Porter Ridge was made by a student who said they thought they overheard other students talking about conducting a school shooting, but an investigation revealed those students were talking about the recent school shooting in Michigan.

Meanwhile, deputies said the possible threat at Parkwood High School was reported by a student who learned about the fabricated threat against Piedmont High School. This threat was also deemed to be unsubstantiated, and no charges will be filed since this was a misunderstanding.

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