According to Walker County sheriff Steve Wilson:
A community member called in a tip an hour prior to the end of the school day, which led to her arrest at 7 p.m.
The school had already received voicemails on Dec. 20 from concerned parents as school started, regarding rumors of a shooting that might occur.
The origin of that rumor has not been found, according to Wilson, but some early morning “chatter” on Facebook is where the rumor spread, according to Wilson.
School faculty and teachers conducted the preliminary search after school began.
A few students at the school received a text message stating “blowing school up” at 10:21 a.m. on Dec. 20 as the school was already in a “soft” lockdown.
Detectives Mike Hinch and J.B. Mullis were joined by nine other deputies to establish security and interview students who may have had information regarding the shooting rumor or the text message.
The female who sent the text (to three students) used a cell phone “scrambler” app designed to conceal the true phone number with a false number for protection, or in this case deception.
That text was then forwarded to other students and parents, further compounding the concern.
Officials recovered the phone at the time of arrest, two hours after being identified.
She was interviewed for two hours at the Rossville Police Department and admitted to sending the text, according to Wilson.
Wilson believes that both situations were an attempt to have school dismissed early.
She faces charges of terroristic threats, to be heard in Walker County Juvenile Court.
Wilson credits the students who received the text message for responsibly informing authorities of the situation and the faculty and administrators for their cooperation in the situation as the day progressed.
The female was released to her mother and had no prior juvenile record, according to Wilson.