A 14-year-old boy was arrested Friday after several people say he threatened to bring a gun to Heritage High School, according to the Blount County Sheriff’s Office.

The boy, a freshman, was charged with delinquent by false report and taken to the Blount County juvenile detention facility, pending a detention release hearing, BCSO reported.

A Feb. 20 incident at Heritage High in which a threat was found on a boy’s restroom wall is still under investigation, according to a BCSO spokesperson.

Two 16-year-old sophomores from William Blount High School also were arrested this week and charged with being delinquent by false report in separate incidents involving threats to “shoot up the school,” according to the BCSO.

School resource officers said none of the three boys arrested this week had access to weapons in their homes.

Adding SROs

Blount County Sheriff James Berrong also announced Friday that his office will add a second School Resource Officer (SRO) position to each high school by early April. William Blount has 1,782 students this year, and Heritage has 1,487. There is currently one SRO at each school.

The first SROs were assigned to the county’s high schools in the mid-1990s, and now each county school has its own officer.

The Sheriff’s Office is also expanding the annual “active shooter” training it conducts for the school district. In the past, five to 10 representatives from each school’s crisis team have attended the training. In July, all school employees will receive training directly from the BCSO, according to school officials.

The sheriff’s office said it will assist schools with ways to better secure facilities to prevent an intruder from entering.

Blount County SROs and all the certified deputies receive ongoing active shooter training, BCSO said, plus several are additionally trained to provide that instruction.

Berrong’s statement noted that “each SRO is equipped, trained, and proficient with a rifle.”

“We are pledging that we will utilize our training, expertise, and our strong sense of duty to keep our children and teachers safe while they are on school grounds,” the BCSO statement said.

Amy Beth earned her degree from West Virginia. She joined The Daily Times in 2016 on the education beat covering Alcoa, Maryville and Blount County school systems.

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