January 14, 2014
For three days so far in 2014, William Monroe High School in Greene County has been put on hold as authorities have responded to bomb threats against the building.
Now, following an arrest in the case, all Greene County schools are looking to get back on track.
"It's going to take some time, but yes, we will get back to normal," superintendent Andrea Whitmarsh said. "We will be in a routine and things will be OK."
Monday afternoon, the sheriff's office announced an arrest of a juvenile in connection to the threats. Whitmarsh said the three days have taken a toll on students.
"Everybody's a little frustrated, has been frustrated, at this point," she said. "They have been very cooperative and well-behaved throughout these events."
For three days, students have had to evacuate the building and wait in other county schools so the high school could be searched.
"That's pushed back benchmark testing that has impacted both the high school students as well as students in other buildings," Whitmarsh said.
The high school body was divided into three groups and sent to three different schools -- and all those schools remained in session as the high school students camped out.
"It's been suggested to me, 'Well, just ignore them.' I'm not willing to do that," Whitmarsh said. "I have to know that my students in this school division are safe."
Whitmarsh said some good has come from these experiences. The crisis plans have been executed and in some cases tweaked to make the procedures more sound.
"I understand that has meant inconvenience," she said. "I understand that some people have gotten frustrated. It's OK because I know our students are safe."
The Greene County Sheriff's Office thanked the community in a statement on Facebook:
"We would like to thank the Greene County community for stepping up to assist law enforcement and school officials as we all jointly worked to put an end to the senseless threats disruptive to everyone, especially children, parents and staff. As the investigation unfolds, we will all know more."
Sheriff Steve Smith told the Newsplex Tuesday he would not comment further until the investigation is complete.