School's Quick Response Protects Students - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Craighead County, AR -- Brandi Hodges Reports

School's Quick Response Protects Students

February 28, 2007 -- Posted at 9:28 p.m. CST

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR -- Two teenage boys ages 16 and 17 are in the Craighead County Jail charged with allegedly threatening to use a gun and a hit list at the Westside School District.

For those associated with Westside, news of a gun threat puts everyone on heightened alert.

"Living in the aftermath of that it is something that places a whole new emphasis and level of importance on this," said Dr. James Best, Superintendent at the Westside School District.

When word got out to the administration that there was a gun threat they took immediate action.

"We turned it over to our school resource officer and they in turn started working with the sheriff's office and they very aggressively pursued the case," said Best.

This reaction is something Craighead County Sheriff Jack McCann has come to expect from this school.

"I can't say enough for the administration.  We've worked with them since '98 of course and there is a zero tolerance policy," said McCann.

Zero tolerance, meaning no threat is taken lightly.

"We investigate all rumors.  We take everything as a serious thing.  We don't disregard anything that's said, we don't feel we have the liberty or the ability to do that," said Best.

One way they're doing that is by having full time help from law enforcement by using school resource officers.

The two boys are being charged as juveniles' so their names aren't being released.

They are charged with terroristic threatening, minor possession of a handgun, and theft by receiving.

The two will remain in the Craighead County Jail until their next court date on Wednesday, March 7.

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