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Risk to student safety cancels two separate central NC football games

Risk to student safety cancels two separate central NC football games


— Two separate football games were canceled in central North Carolina.

School officials said threats made around Friday night’s rivalry football game between Chapel Hill High School and East Chapel Hill High School were not credible. The game was postponed due to the threats.

According to letters sent from the principals of both high schools and posted to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Facebook page, multiple students reported hearing a threat of violence at the football game. The game was scheduled to be held on Friday night at Chapel Hill High School.

However, hours later, aa spokesperson for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools said further investigation showed the threat was not credible and school environments were considered safe.

“As a district, we will always ask for assistance in discussing with student(s) the seriousness of any comments, communications or actions that allude to school threats in any way. We take all communications and actions of this kind very seriously, and all students need to understand that comments or messages related to school threats in any way are totally inappropriate and will result in immediate consequences,” CHCCS said.

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The school district said school administrators would be in touch about a rescheduled date for the game. The district also canceled all other after-school activities and athletic events scheduled for Friday.

“We reiterate our gratitude for the students who brought their concerns forward, and we appreciate the understanding extended by our community as we addressed this unfortunate situation,” CHCCS said in a statement.

East Chapel Hill junior, Nan Coleman, said he was trying something new on Friday night by attending his first football game.

“This was a special occasion for me, so it was all the more disappointing,” said Coleman.

His father, Justin, was dropping him off at the field when they learned the game had been postponed.

“As a parent, as someone who tries to be active in our community, it’s sad anytime we see the potential or the threat of violence or harm,” said Justin Coleman.

Despite the disappointment, the family said school administrators made the right decision.

“I just want everybody to be safe,” said Nan Coleman.

“Safety is always the best option,” said Justin Coleman.

Chapel Hill is 4-0 on the season while East Chapel Hill is 0-4.

The Carrboro Police Department said it was investigating the threat because it was a Carrboro High School student who reported the potential threat.

“The challenge, I think, in a lot of these cases is how much time do you have to determine if this threat is credible? Versus, how much time do you have until the event?” Carrboro Police Chief Chris Atack said.

Attack said social media threats, in particular, can be difficult to determine.

“The reality is, to get the best decision-making model, you need to get the information from the source, and that can be a real challenge, especially in a timely manner,” he said.

Meanwhile, a robbery at a nearby gas station canceled the game between Chatham Central and Jordan-Matthews high schools. A spokesperson for Chatham County Schools said the game would be rescheduled on Monday.

The school spokesperson said the decision was made to reschedule the game since it was getting late. The robbery happened at a Circle K off US 64. Siler City police said a man entered the store, showed a gun and then ran away.

Earlier this week, a written threat to Enloe High School in Wake County prompted extra security at the school on Friday. A message written on a wall at the school said, “Shooting up the school on 9-23-2022.” A joint investigation between security for Wake County Schools and Raleigh police found the threat not credible.



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