Robert Smalls International Academy student threatened school shooting in Jan. 7 note

Delayna Earley/dearley@islandpacket.com
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A student from Robert Smalls International Academy was petitioned to family court after reporting finding a note in the girls’ bathroom on Friday, Jan. 7, threatening to shoot up the school, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report.

The student, who was not named in the report because they are a minor, said they found the note in the bathroom and then brought it to the principal’s attention. When asked, the student told the on-duty school resource officer they found the note on the floor of a bathroom stall.

The handwritten note said, “I’m going to shoot up the school Monday 1/10/22 so you better run this is not a threat it’s a promise I hate RSIA imma kill everybody! F*** RSIA!”

The officer asked for copies of the student’s school work to compare the handwriting, and it “appeared to be the same,” police said in the report. Both the student’s notebook and the note were submitted to the S.C. Law Enforcement Division for handwriting analysis. The student was searched, but no weapons were found. The student was seen going into the bathroom three times on security footage before reporting the note to the principal, the report said.

On the following Monday, Jan. 10, the student was brought in by their mother and admitted to writing the note and said they had no intention of shooting up the school. The student told police in the report that they wrote the note only because they are being bullied and did not want to come to school. The student was petitioned to Family Court, charged with school threats and released to their mother’s custody, the report said.

Last month, seven Beaufort County schools received shooting threats in the span of a week, with some made online and some left as graffiti in bathrooms. Robert Smalls International Academy wasn’t one of the schools threatened, which ranged from clusters in Hilton Head to Whale Branch.

Those threats appeared to be part of a national trend following a Nov. 30 shooting at a Michigan high school that left four dead. Fortunately, like the other threats across the nation, those made in Beaufort County weren’t carried out.

One H.E. McCracken Middle School student was arrested and charged with making student threats and malicious injury to property at his school; he was released to the custody of his parents and is being processed through the family court system. Hilton Head Island High School was placed on lockdown for a social media shooting threat.

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