Incident with Early College student presents 'no eminent threat'

Dec 18, 2012

Rumors about an Early College student at Haywood Community College issuing threats on Facebook cannot be fully confirmed by the school because of privacy laws.

“We are aware of a situation with an Early College student,” said Debbie Davis, director of Communications and Marketing at HCC.

However, the student’s name, the nature of the problem and disciplinary action being taken cannot be released unless the incident is public record, such as when a police report is made.

But Davis did say, “no eminent threat was present” in the current situation.

“We can’t really talk about student discipline or individual cases,” said Assistant Superintendent Bill Nolte. “But we take threats pretty seriously.”

While school involvement with issues involving Facebook or other activities done off-campus is limited, Nolte said the school will get involved if a threat could directly affect or disrupt school activities or student safety.

The severity of the disciplinary action depends on the seriousness of the threat. If a student vaguely threatens another at the school but takes no action, the parents will be contacted and the student could face a short suspension. If the threats are very specific toward someone at school or a student is found with a weapon on campus, that student can face expulsion and is turned over to the police.

“If there is a specific threat to a teacher or student at school, we would and could take action if we knew about it,” he said.