‘Hit-list’ concerns dispelled at Pilot Middle

By Andy Winemiller - awinemiller@civitasmedia.com

PILOT MOUNTAIN — Sheriff’s deputies responded Monday to concerns regarding a middle school student who reportedly intended to hurt other students.

Officials from Surry County Schools issued a short statement but have refused to comment further about the incident, referring all inquiries to Sheriff Graham Atkinson.

“On Monday we received a report from Pilot Mountain Middle School administration that a couple of students had reported a student intended to hurt other students,” explained Atkinson.

“The school resource officer (a deputy) conducted an investigation. There was absolutely no credible information — no threats, no suggestions made by the student.”

Atkinson said the student had been upset, but had simply never communicated a desire to hurt other students. A list — what one parent called a “hit-list” — did surface, however.

“There were a couple of names on a piece of paper,” remarked Atkinson. “It was written months ago.”

Atkinson said the situation then grew a little out of control, as folks posted pieces of information to social media platforms.

“C-com (the 911 call center) received a call today (Wednesday) that a student intended to wreak havoc on the school,” recounted Atkinson. “Deputies responded and found the kid at home with his parents. There was nothing to indicate any intentions of that sort.”

“It’s really a bad deal for everybody,” Atkinson continued. “It’s a bad situation for the kid who was accused and the couple of kids who thought they were doing the right thing to report him.”

A parent who would not identify him or herself indicated this week’s incident was the second of its kind at the school in recent months. No other information was available on the alleged earlier incident, with school officials declining to give additional comment. Surry County schools did post a statement to its Facebook page around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, after learning the Mount Airy News was reporting on the incident.


By Andy Winemiller


Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

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