Hearing for student conducted behind closed doors
DCS workers and family members met with Lewis County Juvenile Judge Michael Hinson at Lewis County Court House Wednesday afternoon for a closed hearing regarding a 13 year old female who the day before alarmed school officials with a threatening Instagram post.
The student, who had been in DCS custody overnight, entered the courtroom with a social worker just after 1 p.m. where her father and mother along with a grandmother, with whom she had been living, were awaiting the hearing. The hearing began after two hours of consultation with a court liaison, social workers and the judge to determine the next step for the juvenile.
Chief Sam Livingston of the Hohenwald Police Department reported the girl will remain in DCS custody and will be taken for an evaluation for possible “mental issues that have gone unaddressed.” Judge Hinson stated the girl would not be going back to her family. No further information was available. Revised 5:15 p.m., March 7, 2018.
Student follows up with “Im a child I make mistakes”
Parents began sharing an Instagram post Tuesday in which a female Lewis County Middle School student asked, “should I threaten to shoot up the school? No you crazy bish. Shoot TF outta it.” Outrage and fear were expressed in multiple comments with one parent asserting she believed it had been taken care of “or I wouldn’t have been comfortable sending [my child] to school today.”
Hohenwald Chief of Police Sam Livingston confirmed the 13 year old female was considered “a viable threat” when officers arrived at her home Tuesday evening. No weapons were found in the home.
“Certainly in light of recent events, we continue to take these threats seriously,” Livingston stated. “A lot of kids say, ‘its just words.’ But that don’t cut it anymore,” he added.
The student reportedly posted the comment as a poll to which the response was 52% said “no you crazy bish,” while 48% responded “shoot TF outta it.” Then later, the student asked people to stop sharing the post as “it was a joke.” The poll and comments on the post are a criminal offense, Chief Livingston said. The student has been charged with filing a false report.
Students who reportedly “voted” on the post could also face criminal charges, Chief Livingston added.
“This is serious” and “This is not a joke” one parent commented. School officials have recently been reviewing safety measures, one school board member confirmed. Director of Schools Benny Pace he has “no comment right now. We are still dealing with issues.” He confirmed the school has revisited and revised the school safety plan, which will be kept confidential for safety reasons. Pace stated the student will face disciplinary actions.
One parent posted the following on Facebook, “I know this girl and her situation and as I don’t condone her words I do have faith in her as a good person. She has stayed at our house recently and would be more than welcomed to stay tonight as well. She is back from..a bad environment that I hope this community can correct. While she was here before her name was constantly called at every awards ceremony. She needs help, needs our prayers, not to be beaten up…I also have faith in our school system and police department to handle the situation based upon their investigation not just from one post. One common theme from past shooters was how they were outcasted by their community. Shall we do the same or is our community better than that?”
“The juvenile was taken into custody Tuesday evening for evaluation,” Sheriff Dwayne Kilpatrick said Wednesday morning. She was released to Department of Children’s Services custody to be transported to a juvenile facility overnight, “if there was room,” Chief Livingston remarked. An evaluation of the girl was planned Wednesday prior to the detention hearing and the student was scheduled to appear before General Sessions Judge Michael Hinson Wednesday.
She will not be released back to the custody of her family, Chief Livingston continued.
This is a developing story and updates will appear as we know more.