Written threat at Wewa Elementary School under investigation

Students were evacuated from Wewahitchka Elementary School at around 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28 after a written threat was discovered in a school restroom.

Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison said that the school was deemed safe at around  3 p.m. after a thurough search of the campus was completed.

This is the second threat discovered at the institution this school year. In December,  GCSO responded to a written bomb threat that was also left in a school bathroom.

Two written threats were made at Wewahitchka Hich School in February and May of 2021. 

“This is happening too often,” Harrison said. “And we’re going to keep telling parents to let their kids know, you know, this is not a game.  This is real life.  Criminal charges will come out of this if we can identify who did it.”

“I hate to say that, but this is a disruption of the school day. This is a tremendous drain of resources for the county, and we take it very seriously.”

Gulf District Schools Superintendent Jim Norton said that the note, which read “school will get on fire at 1:00,” was discovered by a school resource deputy, who then brought it to the attention of the principal and the sheriff’s office.

“We have to treat every one of these things like it’s real, even though we realize these are kids,” he said. 

“We evacuated our kids orderly and sent them over the the high school gymnasium, then dismissed them an hour early, the school day.”

The Gulf County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in searching the campus by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, who brought their K-9s trained to detect explosive materials.

School will resume as normal on Monday.

This report will be updated as more details become available.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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