Hammond school to reopen Wednesday after 2 days of threat-related closures

Hammond school to reopen Wednesday after 2 days of threat-related closures

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Hammond High Magnet School students will return to class Wednesday (Nov. 14), after two separate threats caused the superintendent to close the school Monday and Tuesday.

A 16-year-old student was arrested Tuesday evening and charged in connection to the threats, which were made via social media, according to the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“It is frightening that’s happening there. That someone has the ability to close down a whole school,” Audrey Rhodes said.

Rhodes’ son-in-law is a teacher at the school.

“He’s safe. They’re all safe. The teachers are safe," Rhodes said.

Two separate threats were made to the school through one Instagram page, investigators said.

Tangipahoa Parish School System superintendent Melissa Stilley said there is nothing on campus that could harm students and she wants to keep it that way. When students are back, they will notice more security from TPSO deputies.

The sheriff’s office did a thorough search of the school twice, Stilley said.

“Every inch of the school [was searched] and we have it locked down. We have cameras rolling,” Stilley said.

The district had deputies both inside and outside the school Monday night, and they expected to have class Tuesday. However, another threat came in just before five in the morning, prompting the second closure.

Stilley said this threat was different and more alarming from the first because specific student groups were tagged.

“They’re tagging the chorus or the band,” Stilley said.

There will be 24 hour security at the school until they feel the threat is cleared, according to Stilley.

The student, who was not named, is charged with communicating false information of a planned bombing on a school property, Edwards said. As of Tuesday evening, it was not clear whether or not the student will be expelled. Both the sheriff’s office and the superintendent confirmed the teen was a Hammond High School student at the time the threats were made.

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