Sheriff: No threat made to North Stanly last Friday

Published 3:18 pm Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Stanly County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook Tuesday night that contrary to what some may have thought, there was never a threat made to North Stanly High School last Friday.

The school informed deputies on Friday that “several students had concerns about an unknown individual who had possibly threatened the school,” but once the deputies fully investigated the matter and spoke with the students, it was determined no threat had been made to the school.

“We just wanted to be completely transparent with everyone,” Sheriff Jeff Crisco said about the Facebook posting.

National and international attention descended upon the school system over the last few weeks after the North Carolina High School Athletic Association placed the North Stanly’s cheerleaders on probation over their posing with a Trump 2020 flag during an Aug. 30 game.

Crisco said Superintendent Dr. Jeff James called him later Friday and told him that the school system received some kind of information and that was enough for the School Board to cancel the game Friday night.

“He did not tell me what that information was,” Crisco said.

James said Thursday that he and the School Board decided to cancel the game due to safety concerns that endangered students.

“I could not ensure the safety of kids, bottom line,” James said.

James said he had multiple phone calls Friday with people concerned about the game, including Dr. Lynn Moody, superintendent of Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

James said even though upwards of 70 law enforcement officers would have been at the game, the safety of the children was of paramount concern to him, especially with a rally happening at the same time across the street, featuring people associated with hate groups.

James said many of the verified claims going around social media about why the game was canceled are unfounded, including one involving the NAACP.

“It’s just groups throwing something out to see if it will stick,” he said.

With all that was going on Friday, James asked himself: “Would I send my kid to that game?” and he said “the answer is emphatically absolutely not.”

Even with extra security, if something would have ever happened, “we couldn’t forgive ourselves,” James said, “so we had to take the high road and protect our kids.”

The football game was played Saturday morning. North got its first win of the season, beating Carson 34-14.

James said he will “lay out everything” at the school board meeting next week.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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