School ‘threat’ investigation continues; students will make up day out

Published 1:39 am Saturday, April 22, 2017

The investigation into a vaguely defined security threat that closed Andalusia City Schools on Friday is likely to continue through the weekend.

Superintendent Ted Watson said Friday afternoon that agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigation were still interviewing persons who might have had additional information, and that those interviews would likely be ongoing.

Trooper Kevin Cook, public information officer for ALEA said in a press release Friday morning that a juvenile had been arrested in the investigation of “a situation that could have compromised the safety of one of the Andalusia City Schools.”

The charges against the student were not disclosed.

Residents of a neighborhood near Andalusia High School and Andalusia Junior High School reported an intense police presence at a residence most of Thursday night and into the wee hours of Friday morning.

Watson cancelled classes at about 4:32 a.m., issuing the following announcement:

“Andalusia City School officials have been alerted to information throughout the evening and morning hours that would warrant the cancellation of school for Fri., April 21, out of an abundance of caution,” the announcement said. “Details outlining the specifics of these circumstances will be addressed by the Alabama State Troopers Public information office.

“Please know that we take the safety of your students very seriously,” he said. “While it is never possible to predict specific outcomes, inconvenience is a small price to pay for even a hint that student safety might be compromised.”

It was the third time this month school has been cancelled. The first two days were called for potential weather threats, and there were enough hours in the school calendar to make them up.

However, Watson said Friday afternoon he expects the system will have to extend school for students by one day, using a scheduled teacher inservice day for classes.

The original Andalusia City Schools calendar set the last day of school on May 23, with inservice days on May 24 and 25.