TRUSSVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Trussville Mayor Buddy Choat is asking for better communication between school and city leaders after police investigated a potential school threat almost a year after it was first reported.
Choat held a press conference at Trussville City Hall Tuesday to discuss a recent situation involving a student making threats toward the school.
The threats were found in a notebook at the school by another student back in October 2021, but Choat said police and city officials weren’t notified until earlier this month, despite the student reporting the notebook to their teacher after finding it. The mayor said the student reportedly has made over 30 previous comments about harming the school.
After learning about the threats, officers with the Trussville Police Department began an investigation and went to the student who allegedly made the threats home. TPD then brought their evidence and finding to the district attorney’s office who then declined to charge the student with any crimes.
While nothing ever came from the threats, Choat and members of TPD are encouraging additional dialogue amongst schools and city leaders in order to avoid potential disasters to happen in Trussville.
“We have spent hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars over the years to protect our students and our faculty and we’re going to continue to do that. There’s no reason for this not to have been reported, other than an error in judgment of ‘is it a real threat or is it a fantasy,” Choat said. “We can only respond when we’re told.”
Choat did add that a meeting was held with school and city officials to work on communication between the departments.
“We dodged a bullet,” he said. “We dodged a situation that we don’t need to have this meeting today had it been handled properly.”
TPD Chief Eric Rush said that while there was not enough evidence to charge the student, they will continue to monitor all threats reported to them to combat any potential danger to students or members of the community.
The student in question has also been removed from the school and is in another program at this time, according to Choat.