On Friday Feburary 16, 2018 the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office was made aware of a potentially threatening Facebook post by a student at Shady Spring High School. The Deputy assigned as a School Resource Officer, along with other Deputies and Detectives notified school officials and began an investigation. The student was identified and determined to be attending classes off-campus at the Academy of Careers and Technology. The administration of Woodrow Wilson High School, and the Beckley Police Officer assigned as a School Resource Officer there, were apprised of the situation. Additionally, the Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office was presented with the information and the results of the investigation.
Admittedly and especially in light of the recent tragedy in Florida, the post caused grave concern. The members of the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office are aware of those concerns and frankly share in them. However, investigations such as this must occur impartially and professionally. Investigators do not have the luxury of personal opinion; they- in consultation with the Prosecuting Attorney- must decide if a violation of law occurred. This post, while obviously upsetting and inciting to already high emotion, was determined to be non-criminal. The student was referred to appropriate resources.
The Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office takes any potential threat to students, faculty, or school facilities very seriously. We work closely with the Board of Education and school administrators in this capacity. Our Special Response Team trains regularly both in schools and other venues, and individual Deputies have received advanced training in school responses. Additionally, we train with other law enforcement and emergency services agencies in critical incident management. It is all of our hopes that this training never has to be put in to practice, but we still strive to be ready and aware of potential threats