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14-year-old appears in Henry's juvenile court

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

A 14-year-old girl appeared in Henry County Juvenile Court on Friday on charges of making terroristic threats to a teacher at her school.

On Thursday, Henry County Sheriff's deputies arrested the girl, an eighth-grader at Dutchtown Middle School in Hampton, after she was accused of sending a threatening e-mail to a teacher at the school. The girl's name is not being released because she is a juvenile.

"The e-mail named several students and teachers in a threatening way," said Maj. Keith McBrayer. It was sent on Monday, but was not opened by the teacher until Wednesday. Sheriff's deputies tracked the e-mail through Yahoo and were able to make an arrest the next morning.

"She is charged with terroristic threats and acts, and is currently at the Griffin Regional Youth Detention Center," said McBrayer, following the arrest on Thursday.

Officials say the girl appeared in court Friday, in part, to determine if she should be released into the custody of her parents.

Letters about the incident were sent out to parents, said Ethan Hildreth, Henry County Schools assistant superintendent of administrative services.

The letter informed parents that there was no danger related to the threats, but that the disruption caused by the incident warranted the cancellation and rescheduling of the school's Parent-Teacher Organization dance Friday.

"The suspect in this case has been identified by school administrators and law enforcement officials, and appropriate actions are being taken," Hildreth said. "Incidents of this type are not frequent, but do happen occasionally."

Board policy for threats, as stated in the 2008-09 student handbook, is that students who engage in or attempt to commit threats will be assigned out-of-school suspension with the matter being submitted to a disciplinary hearing officer.

Added McBrayer: "We felt like we got the threat, got to the bottom of it, and resolved the problem."

Staff writer Jason Smith contributed to this article.