Student expelled, charged after allegedly making threats

CONYERS - A 15-year-old male student has been expelled from Heritage High School after allegedly threatening to shoot up the school. He is also facing a felony charge of making terroristic threats and acts.

The incident occurred on Jan. 25 after another student allegedly overheard the freshman talking about shootings, thought he was serious, and reported him to school officials. The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office was contacted, and the teen was arrested on Jan. 27 at his home.

According to a Channel 2 Action News report, the student’s mother said her son never threatened the school and that her son was never interviewed by school officials. She said he and some of his friends were joking about past school shootings and a female student overhead them and reported it.

It has been 20 years since the only school shooting in Rockdale County history took place when Heritage High School student T.J. Solomon opened fire in the commons area of the school, injuring six people. In the wake of that and other more recent school shootings around the nation, threats whether real or perceived are taken seriously.

The student’s mother said Rockdale deputies “busted down her door” to arrest her son; however, RCSO spokesperson Yolande Moore said deputies served a search warrant after she refused to cooperate.

“Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office was notified to investigate a terroristic threat made by a juvenile,” said Moore. “When the investigators contacted the mother to search the home for any weapons, she refused to cooperate. Investigators then obtained a search warrant and went to the home on Jan. 27 to investigate.

“We take all threats to our schools and children seriously,” added Moore. “We will vigorously investigate each and every one. The safety of our children is paramount.”

The student was charged with one felony count of making terroristic threats and acts by Rockdale County Juvenile Court.

The mother said the school system expelled her son until at least next spring. Rockdale County Public Schools will not comment on student disciplinary issues, but adheres to its Code of Conduct for behavior expectations and disciplinary action.

Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.