PICKENS COUNTY, SC (WYFF) - A woman was arrested Tuesday morning after school officials say she threatened the life of Gov. Nikki Haley.
Haley was in the Upstate for a scheduled visit at Liberty Elementary School on North Hillcrest Street in Liberty at 10 a.m.
Pickens County School District spokesman John Eby said a Liberty Elementary parent volunteer made a remark to a staff member about harming the governor, and out of an abundance of caution, the staff member told principal and the principal called police.
Liberty Middle School Principal Lowell Haynes said, "I felt like it was something that I needed to notify law enforcement and let them handle it from there. It's not up to me to decide if there's intent there. I felt like that's their job let them investigate and decide just turn it over to them."
The police incident report said that the volunteer, 46-year-old Jennifer Phillips, said to a counselor at the school, "I am going to smuggle a gun in and kill this governor."
Phillips, was arrested at school before governor even got there, according to police. Phillips is charged with threatening a public official. Police sad that Phillips told them she didn't mean anything by the comment and didn't even own a gun.
Phillips, described as an off-and-on volunteer, was there to help with a PTO function, a Santa shop, where students can shop for Christmas presents for their parents.
She will appear before a bond judge at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Haley's stop at the school was to talk with third-fifth graders about leadership and bullying prevention.
The principal said, "It's a great moment for the city of Liberty and for our students at Liberty Elementary School and I kind of hope that that's the focus of this -- that a community member's ill-advised statement doesn't reign over the message that she brought our students today, and that's what a leader is."
The governor also spoke at the Easley Rotary Club meeting.
When asked about the incident, Haley said, "When you make decisions, you make some people happy and you make some people upset and there are some people who take it a little bit further and that is part of my job is to deal with it, but I know that I have a good team around me and I know that they are taking care of me so we deal with it the best we can."
"It doesn't slow me down. It doesn't stop me," Haley said. "If I got concerned every time there was a threat I would not move."
Haynes said the decision on whether Phillips will be allowed back on campus will happen at a later date.
"I will talk to our director of student services and we will see what comes of this if there's going to be charges and where this goes and make that decision probably at a later time," he said.