East Tennessee high school student charged with starting shooting rumor

Noah Cooper (CourtesyL Campbell County Sheriff's Office)

JACKSBORO, Tenn. (WATE) – An 18-year-old has been arrested and charged with starting a rumor that a shooting was planned at Campbell County High School.

Campbell County Sheriff’s office said Noah Cooper of LaFollette started a rumor at school that if students didn’t wear red on Thursday they might be shot. Cooper was charged with filing a false report/threat.

The threats sent students, parents, teachers and school administrators into a heightened panic, according to the sheriff’s office. The school alerted the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office to the threat and School Resource Officers and detectives were dispatched to the school to investigate the incident.

Campbell County Sheriff Robbie K. Goins said, “Our children are our number one priority and protecting them at school, home or wherever they may be will take precedence over all others. It is our obligation as a community to do our all to work together to ensure that our students, teachers and school staff have the safest place to learn, work and be free from fear in. We have been through a lot together as a community and there will be more trials to come.”

Goins said investigators believe Cooper was the only student involved in the rumors. He was booked Wednesday into the Campbell County Jail

Kenneth Bartley (Source: Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office)
Kenneth Bartley (Source: Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office)

In 2005 an administrator was killed and two others injured during a shooting at Campbell County High School. Kenny Bartley, who was 15-years-old at the time of the shooting, served jail time, was released and then arrested for violating his probation.

The school threat is one of many over the last few weeks. Knox County Schools called a special meeting at Farragut High School after several false threats were reported in high school, middle school and elementary schools across the county. Two 16 year-old students were both charged after the threats were made.

Alcoa High School was on lockdown Friday for reported bomb threat that also ended up being fake. While law enforcement and the school system said they are treating the threats seriously, parents said they’re concerned that students are becoming less concerned with the threat.

“They see it as a joke at this point. They’re down there hanging out and doing their thing on the bleachers,” said Fulton High School dad Chris Allen. “They all have Snapchat and Instragram and they’re down there posting, ‘hey bomb threat number four.”

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