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Threat at Dresden High School Leads to Investigation: Victim’s father enraged with school’s response to threat

By Shannon Taylor

Editor

A threat of violence at Dresden High School (DHS) on Wednesday, Feb. 14 has sparked some concerns by a parent on whether school administrators reacted appropriately to the incident.

On Friday, Feb. 16, Weakley County Sheriff Terry McDade sent out a press release stating, “On 2-16-2024 Sheriff Terry McDade and SRO Dep. Rob Harrison investigated an incident involving a Dresden High School student that had made threats to harm other students. At no time during the incident were there any acts of violence against students or faculty members and no individuals were placed in harm’s way. The student who was responsible for making the threats is being charged with Threats of School-Related Mass Violence in Weakley County Juvenile Court for their actions.”

Local resident Blake Gallimore, whose daughter was reportedly a victim in the incident, said that he believes that if it had not been for him, the entire incident would have been “swept under the rug.” Gallimore’s daughter and another girl found out that they were dating the same person and confronted him together after first period on Feb. 14, according to Gallimore’s daughter.

According to Gallimore, the boy was allegedly embarrassed and went into his second period class stating, “I’m going to shoot up the school starting with these two [individuals][sic],” according to Gallimore’s daughter.

Several classmates reportedly overheard and went to DHS Principal, Scott Killebrew. According to several sources, the boy was allowed to remain at the school the rest of the day and rode the bus home that afternoon.

“I didn’t learn of this until my daughter came home at 6 p.m. that day. I never got a phone call. No letters were sent home. The school was not shut down. The SRO was not even there that day, nor was he informed,” Gallimore stated.

Gallimore said that SRO Harrison apologized to his daughter that he wasn’t there and didn’t find out about the incident until Friday, Feb. 16 when the Sheriff’s Department started their investigation.

According to Gallimore, the school sent out a voice message to parents on Friday to notify them of the incident.

Weakley County School’s Superintendent Jeff Cupples was notified by Gallimore the following morning on Feb. 15, who then notified the Sheriff’s Department, according to Gallimore. Gallimore stated that he also contacted the Sheriff’s Department multiple times regarding the incident.

Gallimore said he spoke with Assistant Director of WCS Betsi Foster who stated that she was in complete agreement with Gallimore that Killebrew had broken policies and procedures regarding the incident by not reporting it immediately.

Gallimore also said he learned from Killebrew that the 17-year-old juvenile only received 60 days of alternative school.

On Saturday, Feb. 17, WCS Communication Director Erica Moore sent out a press release stating, “Dresden High School administrators received a report on Wednesday regarding a potential threat that led to the launch of an investigation by both the school and local law enforcement over the course of the week.

Notification of the investigation was communicated to the parents of all Dresden High School students. 

Local law enforcement has confirmed that all legal actions necessary will be taken based on the outcome of their investigation.

There is no ongoing threat to the school. Safety protocols and procedures are in place to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff. Director of Schools Jeff Cupples said that school policies and safety procedures are in place for a reason. 

“The safety of students, faculty, and staff is the most important priority in our schools and communities. We are thankful to local law enforcement who do not tolerate threats to safety in our schools. Parents, please have a serious conversation with your child(ren) about school rules and appropriate behavior. Emphasize the importance of following these rules and reporting any concerns immediately. This is crucial for ensuring the safety of everyone at school,” Director Cupples stated.

Students, parents, and anyone in the community can use the anonymous report system at weakleycountyschools-tn.safeschoolsalert.com.”

Gallimore’s daughter reportedly has apprehension regarding the juvenile returning to school after 60 days, and she has also allegedly experienced shame by one of her teachers regarding the incident according to Gallimore.  One of his daughter’s teachers reportedly shamed her in front of her class stating that the juvenile was innocent and should not have received 60 days of alternative school, according to Gallimore’s daughter.

Sheriff McDade stated that SRO Harrison was out the day of the incident but that he had two deputies covering the school that day. “I was not made aware of the situation until late Thursday or early Friday morning,” McDade said.

School officials are limited in what they are able to release publicly regarding internal investigations and disciplinary decisions for students according to Cupples. The press release sent out Saturday included most, if not all, of what the school district was able to report on the incident, according to Cupples.

Cupples said in a phone interview Tuesday, Feb. 21 that the faculty will be debriefing from the investigation and procedures this week, which is a critical part of the investigation.

“We try to learn everything we can from each situation and review our responses to maximize our effectiveness at the school and district level,” he said.

2 Comments

  1. Lawless on February 22, 2024 at 10:54 am

    Thw WSO aint worried about the safty of our kids,there to busy chasing drug dealers they know if caught wont get 10 days in jail,and shooting peoples dogs.thats there main priorty.

  2. Ibted on February 23, 2024 at 11:01 am

    🤣😂 are these the same SRO’s that wcsd (I’m aware that I didn’t capitalize) just posted on their webpage?? It stated these SRO’s were, “hero’s”. What a low bar wcsd sets for heroism. Why do we keep pouring tax $ into a hole that’s meant to fine, imprison, and kill citizens?! It seems Serve and Protect has become Harass and Collect. JS

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