Wednesday, July 17

All Clear – No Threat Found at Asheboro High School

An officer with NC Probation and Parole blocks off W Walker Ave as students return to the high school after the all clear. [Scott Pelkey | North State Journal]

ASHEBORO N.C. – Police have given the “all clear” and reported no one was injured after a threat to Asheboro High School triggered an evacuation of the school and a lockdown of all Asheboro City Schools this morning.

According to a press release from the Asheboro Police Department, at 9:21 a.m. this morning an individual called the police department’s headquarters and stated they “had placed bombs inside Asheboro High School,” and that they were “armed with a weapon and would enter the school.”

School resource officers at the high school were notified and law enforcement personnel from Asheboro Police Department, Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. Highway Patrol, N.C. Probation and Parole, Asheboro Fire/Rescue Department, and Randolph County Emergency Services all responded to the school.

At 10:23 a.m. Asheboro City Schools confirmed the threat in a statement, stating they were following safety protocols at all city school campuses.

Students at Asheboro High School were evacuated to secure locations off-site, while students at other Asheboro City Schools sheltered in place.

An officer with a rifle walks the perimeter of the Asheboro High School while k9’s search the building. [Scott Pelkey | North State Journal]

Deputies from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office brought in bomb detection dogs to search the school and parking lot.

Despite the school system saying they would not be releasing students and requests to not try to come pick up students, around a dozen parents gathered in front of the Asheboro City Schools administration building, waiting for updates on the situation.

“It’s frustrating, we just want to know what’s going on,” said one parent at the scene. Other parents in touch with their child through text message reported that many of the students were scared and not entirely sure what was happening.

At 1:23 p.m. the Asheboro Police Department advised that the buildings, parking lot, vehicles, and perimeter around the school had been searched by teams of officers along with police canines and no devices and/or suspects were located.

The police department also advised that there was never an active shooter situation and that no injuries had been reported.

As of 1:45 p.m, after holding at locations off campus for several hours, students from the High School were escorted back to their classrooms.

UPDATE 9/1/23 – 5PM

This evening Asheboro City Schools released the following statement:

On September 1, 2023 just before 9:30 am Asheboro City Schools staff were notified by the Asheboro Police Department of a threat to Asheboro High School which required evacuation of the building. Asheboro Police Department led the response and secured the campus perimeter.  Students were relocated to the football stadium and then to a predetermined safe location as specified in the school safety plan. As a precaution, we were advised by Randolph Emergency Communications to have all other Asheboro City schools shelter in place while the investigation was ongoing. At approximately 1:45 pm the shelter in place was lifted for each school and Asheboro High School students were able to return to campus and finish the school day. Buses were able to operate on a regular schedule and after school activities were held as planned. 

“The Asheboro Police Department and emergency personnel acted swiftly.  Students and staff followed all procedures and contributed to an extremely successful safety response,” says Gayle Higgs, Director of Support Services.

Dr. Aaron Woody, Superintendent of Asheboro City Schools states, “We have a strong school community. Everyone came together to ensure that the relocation of our students was orderly and that they were safe during this time. We are so appreciative of the contributions of our local business partners and emergency response agencies.” 

The rapid response from the Asheboro Police Department and other law enforcement agencies ensured the safety of our students. Student safety is our first priority. Safety protocols specified in our school safety plans were followed. We would like to thank the community and our families for their support and cooperation as well.

The students and staff throughout Asheboro City Schools were extremely positive throughout the day today. They are to be commended for their professionalism and deliberate actions that contributed to a calm and orderly outcome. Be assured that we will continue to be vigilant and prepared to provide the very best educational environment for all students in Asheboro City Schools. 

This is a developing story. More information will be released as it is made available.