UPDATE: Carter County Schools lockdown lifted

John Thompson • Updated Feb 28, 2017 at 1:55 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County School System was in a "soft lockdown" on Tuesday in response to threats made on social media. All schools were involved in the lockdowns. The lockdown  was called off at 1:10 p.m.

Kevin Ward, director of the Carter County School System, said he was working with Sheriff Dexter Lunceford and SRO supervisor Mike Carlock to ensure the safety of all schools. A soft lockdown means all exterior doors are secured, but students are permitted to move around inside the buildings and classes continue.

Ward said the threats were that people armed with guns would be coming to Elizabethton High School, Cloudland High School and Happy Valley High School at 12:30 p.m. Sheriff Lunceford said the threat was on an app called “After School”. He said he was shown a cell phone containing the app and the threat was that “they were going to shoot the schools up.”

Lunceford said he was made aware  of the threat at 11:30 a.m. and more officers were sent to the schools. After 12:30 p.m. it began to be apparent that no attack was being made on the three schools. 

"You have to evaluate these threats when they are discovered and take the safest measures," Ward said. The director said one advantage his school system enjoyed was that nearly every school in the system had a school resource officer assigned. “We are very appreciative of the county commission and the sheriff’s department for making that possible.”

Elizabethton City Schools are not in session because professional development days had been scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

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