More Parents Accuse Lincoln Co. School Leaders of Not Taking Student Safety Seriously; School Board Declines To Comment

The Latest:

LINCOLN CO., N.C. — Still no word from Lincoln County Leaders about the status of an investigation into a student accused of threatening to rape a classmate, shoot up the school, and more.

WCCB Charlotte was at the School Board’s monthly meeting Tuesday night, where members declined to speak with us.

Board member Kirk Herbertson did make a comment on Facebook over the weekend.  He defended the student accused of making the threats and claimed the boy has a developmental disorder.

We also learned the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office turned the case over to the Juvenile Justice Office on Tuesday, and they will decide whether criminal charges will be filed.

Original Story:

LINCOLN CO., N.C. – Explosive accusations about a boy at Lincolnton Middle School from the parent of one 12-year-old girl. “He threatened to shoot the school up and told her he was gonna kill her first,” says Tiffany Thomas. She also says, “Over a two month span, he has told my daughter that he was gonna rip her clothes off like a bandaid and rape her in the boy’s bathroom. He brought a pocket knife to school and took it out of his pocket and told her he was gonna slash her throat.”

Thomas’s daughter’s accusations have prompted other parents to speak out about Lincoln County schools. “We contacted the school numerous times, went up there numerous times,” says Ted Russ. He says a boy intentionally injured his daughter at West Lincoln High School, and two other girls have threatened to fight her. Russ tells WCCB, “To this day, we can’t understand why nothing was done.”

Jessica Clark says her daughter told adults at Lincolnton Middle School that she was being bullied. Clark says her daughter had a clean disciplinary record, until she got suspended twice in two weeks because of fights she finally got into with the bully. Clark tells WCCB, “Our kids should be able to feel safe to go to a teacher and say ‘hey this is going on’ and be confident that they’re gonna fix it.”

The common thread: concern about the way the district handles student safety.

Thomas has hired an attorney, Chris Adkins, who on Monday, sent a letter to Dr. Lory Morrow, the district superintendent. Adkins’ letter reads in part, “I am deeply concerned that school administrators do not appear to have taken any legitimate action to investigate or address the actions and threats made against (the student),” and “We all expect you to investigate the matter thoroughly and enforce the consequences you have outlined in your handbook.”

A Lincoln County Education Board member posted a comment on Facebook this weekend, openly discussing the boy’s alleged developmental disorder, as well as writing about the accusations that “nothing can be proved.” WCCB asked the board chairperson, Cathy Davis, if the rest of the board agreed with Kirk Herbertson’s comment. Davis said she cannot speak for the rest of the board and told WCCB, in part, “I am relying on LCS administration and law enforcement to provide the board of education with information that will lead to a resolution.”

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s office tells WCCB that as of Sunday, it still had not interviewed the accused boy. Thomas says she told the Sheriff’s Office last Monday about the alleged threats the boy made.