A City of Columbia Police car sits in front of Dreher High School. There was increased law enforcement presence in Dreher High School on Friday, August 26 following a shooting threat made Thursday. (Photo: Michael Sauls)
Security will not be heightened at Dreher High School’s Saturday morning football game following a threat made toward the school Thursday night that caused the game’s rescheduling.
An anonymous user made the threat on Youtube during the live stream of a junior varsity football game between Dreher and rival AC Flora, Richland School District One spokesperson Karen York said Friday. The district did not provide details about the threat.
But The Carolina News and Reporter obtained a Youtube screenshot that appears to show the threat that was reported.
In two separate comments on the live stream, a user named “Chonrey” said, “Im sh00ting dr3her tomorrow at 1 pm every kid i see will get it,” and “Im gonna do horrible things to dreher tomorrow at 1 pm be ready.”
Security was heightened during regular school hours Friday as a precaution, York said.
“A noticeable law enforcement presence and security measures are in place,” Columbia Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Timmons said early Friday. “Collectively, threats or perceived threats are taken seriously and will not be tolerated.”
York said “out of an abundance of caution,” Friday’s game between Dreher and AC Flora’s varsity teams was then rescheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, whose deputies provide resource officers to schools, said there will already be sufficient security at the game.
“We’ll be there in full force, visible like we’re always,” Lott said.
Heightened security at the school will likely be limited to just Friday, Lott said.
Dreher students who learned about the threat and decided not to attend school Friday will be granted an excused absence, York said.
“We look at these incidents that happen, and you don’t want to overreact, and you don’t want to under react, so you’ve got to balance that,” Lott said. “But you also don’t want to reward those who are doing something like that by closing the school down and changing everything up. They win when you allow them to do that.”
Lott said his department was made aware of the investigation Thursday night and that CPD is the primary agency in charge.
Timmons confirmed that CPD is actively investigating the threat and as of Friday afternoon, no potential suspects had been named.
“I want parents to feel secure in knowing that we take these things seriously,” Lott said. “We fully investigate them and we’re never going to do anything that places our young people in jeopardy. We treat the kids that are in school just as our kids. So we made sure that we do everything that we’re supposed to do to protect them.”
ABOUT THE JOURNALISTS
Sauls is a senior journalism major at the University of South Carolina. He is an experienced sports journalist who won two S.C. Press Association awards. Sauls also covered professional and collegiate sports for The State newspaper. He is a staff writer for Gamecock Central, covering USC football and baseball. He is the managing editor of USC’s student-run newspaper, The Daily Gamecock.
Ortuno is a senior journalism major and computer science minor at the University of South Carolina. He is the editor in chief of the Gaming Collegian, a gaming and technology-focused multimedia club on campus. He is also a sports writer for The Daily Gamecock focused on club sports. Ortuno has covered a variety of topics ranging from trading card shops to how USC’s Cocky’s anthropomorphic body would perform as an athlete.