Knoxville/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 16, 2024
Knox County Teen Charged After Bomb Threat at Gibbs High School; No Explosives FoundSource: Google Street View

Bomb squad dogs were sniffing around Gibbs High School in Knox County after a reported bomb threat sparked an investigation by local authorities. The Knox County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) rushed the Bomb Unit and an Explosive Detection K-9 to the scene shortly after the threat was made public on Monday afternoon. A sweep of the high school turned up zilch, and students were deemed safe from harm. The alarm, however, was far from unwarranted, given the stakes of such a threat. "The initial sweep of the school was completed, with nothing being found," the KCSO stated, as reported by WBIR.

Not long after the threat was reported, the sheriff's office cuffed a 17-year-old, charging them with making a false report. Details about the suspect's motives and identity were not immediately released, but the quick response was meant to forcefully deter any copycat. Kimberly Glenn, KCSO Communications Director, was quoted by WVLT News confirming the arrest and the charge. Meanwhile, the community's nerves were already frayed by a series of similarly false threats made earlier this year, targeting various educational institutions in the county.

This isn't the first time that Knox County has had to deal with false alarms in its schools. Earlier, three students from Gibbs Middle School were taken into custody after dispatchers received bogus calls claiming there was an active shooter at another local middle school. Not to be outdone, yet another student from the same institution was charged subsequently over threats made on a school bus. These incidents place a spotlight on the troubling trend of hoax threats in educational spaces and the subsequent challenges they pose to authorities and the community's sense of security.

A representative from the sheriff’s office underscored the severity of the situation, stating to WATE, "A 17-year-old has been arrested and charged with making a false report." This repeated history of threats has prompted an ongoing conversation among parents, educators, and law enforcement on how to best pre-empt and respond to not only better protect our children but also to educate them on the gravity and potential consequences of their actions.