16-year-old arrested for pulling fire alarm at high school

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — A 16-year-old Newton High School student was arrested after deputies said he pulled a fire alarm, prompting an evacuation at the school.

Deputies said that at some point during the evacuation, someone also made a threat against the school. Dozens of law enforcement officers were at the school Thursday sweeping the building with long guns.

“This morning, threats were made to harm the students and staff at Newton High,” deputies said. “The school has been placed on a lockdown while law enforcement officials conduct a search of the building.”

Officers determined that there were no guns or threatening materials in the building. Still, students were dismissed early after being kept outside the building for hours.


One student was taken to the hospital during the incident after she had a seizure.

Deputies said the 16-year-old, who has not been identified, has been charged with reckless conduct, disorderly conduct, disrupting public school and transmitting a false report of a fire. He is not being charged in connection with the threats.

No one has been arrested for making the threats, which deputies have not described.

NewsChopper 2 was over the scene, where it appeared that students were being let back into the school around 10:45 a.m.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was live at the scene on Channel 2 Action News at Noon, where she saw a caravan of school buses pull out of the parking lot.

It’s was a hectic scene as parents rushed to the school to pick up their children.

Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown tried to calm anxious parents down outside the school.

“There were no injuries. It was simply a threat,” Brown said. “Everybody is fine.”

The sheriff’s office said two students were taken into custody and are being interviewed. It’s unclear if they are facing any charges. The students have not been identified.

Washington talked to parents who were still on edge.

“A lot of stuff goes through my mind, especially when it has to do with my kid or other kids, so I worry about everybody’s kids really,” parent Eric Cole said.

Robyn Davis said the situation was especially frightening after the massacre in Uvalde.

“My fear today was traumatic,” Davis said.

This is one of several incidents involving threats at schools this week. On Thursday morning, Sandy Creek High School officials found a loaded handgun in a student’s car.

On Wednesday, someone made a threat against Douglass High School in Atlanta. Police searched that school and found that there was no danger.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]