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Student with gun sparks lockdown at White County High School

Girl threatened to kill herself before teachers, counselor talked her out of it

POSTED: April 30, 2014 11:25 p.m.

White County High School students are back to a normal schedule today after a student brought a gun to school Wednesday morning, leading to lockdown.

“We had a student report to an administrator that there was a girl in the bathroom extremely distraught, talking about killing herself,” Superintendent Jeff Wilson said.

When school officials responded, they found a female student with a handgun, barricaded in the bathroom. Wilson identified science teachers Carrie Vandegriff and Stephanie Bolton, along with counselor Lynette Griffin, who entered the bathroom to talk to the student.

“Just heroic acts of bravery by those three women,” Wilson said. “They saved a young girl’s life today and should be very proud.”

While school officials and law enforcement felt the girl, thought to be a junior, was an “imminent threat” to herself, there was no indication she planned to harm any other student.

She eventually did hand over the gun. She was transported to an area hospital for an evaluation.

The school was in lockdown while negotiations took place, but students were released late morning. Wilson and school administrators held a meeting in the gymnasium for students and parents to explain what had happened.

The student won’t be allowed back to the high school, but Wilson said the most important thing at the moment is for her to get help.

“We’ll worry about all of that later,” he said. “Our first concern for her is to get her the help she needs, and we’ll take care of the rest of that stuff down the road.”

White County Sheriff Neal Walden said the investigation remains ongoing.


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