Clay County schools getting ‘back to normal’ following threat, superintendent says

By Carrie Hodousek in News
CLAY, W.Va. — Students and staff in Clay County were back in school Monday following a threat that led to a district shutdown for three days last week.

“At this point, trying to get back to normal, answer all the questions and give people time to calm down a little bit,” said Kenneth Tanner, superintendent of Clay County Schools. “It’s been a very unnerving event for parents and for kids.”

Schools were closed last Wednesday through Friday after school officials received a tip about a shooting threat at Clay County Middle School. Tanner said the threat included a plan to shoot students and staff members there on April 20 — the 17th anniversary of the Columbine High School attack in Colorado.

Several activities, including the Clay County High School prom, took place this weekend without any problems, Tanner said. On Monday, he said they made sure to increase security at the middle school.

“The school’s safe. Security is in place. We hope that they can get back to normal and get some school days in and kids to concentrate until we are out of school,” he said.

Students and staff will have to make up the three missed school days at the end of the year — meaning the last day of school in Clay County will now be extended to June 15, the superintendent said.

A school board meeting is scheduled for Monday evening where several parents, teachers, a state trooper and possibly a psychologist are expected to speak about the alleged plot.

“Most of the speakers I’ve talked to,” Tanner said. “I’m sure some will have questions about what really happened and what didn’t happen and that type of thing.”

As far as the investigation, Tanner said state police are continuing to gather information as it comes to them. So far, no arrests have been made.

“The information we’re getting now is tracking down leads, maybe somebody else knew something and is afraid to say,” he said. “Trying to figure out if there are any other folks out there that have information that they can share that will help shed light.”