CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. — Law enforcement is accusing Chester County Schools of putting the safety of students and teachers at risk after failing to notify investigators of a 13-year-old's "disturbing" behavior.
"The district did not make us aware of it," Chester County Sheriff's Office Maj. Dwayne Robinson, Sr. said. "They feel like every issue is internal, that doesn't need to involve law enforcement."
The sheriff's office confirmed a Lewisville Middle School student is now charged with making student threats after his teacher found a "graphic" picture depicting him shooting another student in the head.
Maj. Robinson said the teacher brought concerns to administrators about the drawing and other behavior in late October, but the district never called law enforcement. Instead, he said the sheriff's office only found out after the teacher shared her concerns with a family member in law enforcement.
"It bothers me a lot. This is something we could've stopped long before now," he said. "I'm glad that she did the right thing and she said something. When you're making that cry and nobody hears you, keep going. Don't stop crying, because that will be the determining factor of whether you live to see tomorrow."
Citing privacy laws, administrators would not go into detail about the district's handling of the situation.
"I can advise that, in responding to instances of student misconduct, including potential threatening conduct, the district takes all of the relevant facts and circumstances into consideration," district spokesperson Becky Crouch said. "If an incident occurs where the district determines that a student is likely to cause injury to him/herself, another student, or a staff member, the district always notifies law enforcement."
Maj. Robinson said this isn't the first time the district's failed to alert investigators.
"I'm not (okay with that)," he said. "This isn't our first time. We've been over this bridge a few times. It's time to burn the bridge."