Parents outraged after Horry Co. students were suspended after reporting school threat

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 8:37 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2023 at 9:39 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - A group of parents said they’re outraged with the suspension of their three St. James Middle School students, who claim did the right thing when reporting a threat found at school.

Horry County Schools confirmed a threat was discovered in the girls’ bathroom at St. James Middle School, copying a threat at St. James High School, days prior.

Parents received a letter Friday from St. James’s Principal Olga Toggas, stating a ‘threatening statement was written on a bathroom wall at the school.’

A spokesperson for the school district said both investigations at the two schools have led to the identification of the persons involved. She also said students will face appropriate disciplinary actions per school policy and potential criminal charges.

Three parents WMBF News spoke with said, their daughters are now suspended after they allegedly found the statement, took a photo of it, and brought it to the school administrators’s attention.

Parents of one of the students said the district believes their daughter wrote the statement, but that she insists she didn’t write it.

Jennifer and Michael Florian said their daughter was questioned for hours before the school notified them. They also said the school district told them their daughter was ‘suspended indefinitely.’

“Remember, especially if it happens again at the middle school, you’re dealing with 12 and 13-year-olds. They’re scared they don’t know what’s going on, whether they did it or not, they’re still going to be scared,” said Florian. “If they ask for their parents, that their parents be called and that their parents are able to be there.”

Another student whose mom claims was also suspended, told WMBF News, “It was hard because I started crying because it was very claustrophobic and we couldn’t really go anywhere. We were stuck in this little room, not able to go anywhere or talk to each other. I got really stressed out because I felt I was literally in jail.”

Her mom said how the school district handles this situation, makes her lose trust in county policies and how they will go about addressing others.

“I do disagree with the suspension because I feel...the kids alerted the teacher, they made them aware of this threat. I feel, if the kids never alerted the teacher, then they would not have been pin-pointed and blamed for this. For something I think they did not do,” she said.

It’s not clear if any students have been criminally charged or when students will be able to return to school.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.