Ooltewah High principal tells parents school will go on despite shooting threats

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office tells Chattanooga Police Department assistance not needed

A message scrawled on the wall of the boys bathroom purports to be a threat against Ooltewah High School.
photo A photo submitted by several sources purports to show a threat scrawled on the wall of a boys bathroom at Ooltewah High School.

Ooltewah High School Principal Jim Jarvis sent an email to parents of students at the school tonight informing them of two additional threats of a shooting written on a bathroom wall today.

This is the third time in two school days that a threat of a shooting on March 1, 2016, has been written on a bathroom wall at the school.

"At this time neither school officials nor the local law enforcement officials place any validity to the threats," Jarvis wrote in the email. "However, as previously planned, Ooltewah High School will have additional police presence on campus and in our buildings on Tuesday, March 1st."

Jarvis continued to say that Tuesday will be a regular school day "and we will continue to be involved in the business of educating students."

Despite telling parents there will be increased law enforcement at the school tomorrow, Chattanooga Police say they have not been directly notified by school officials about the threats.

Kyle Miller, spokesman for the Chattanooga Police Department, said regardless of not being asked to get involved, police plan to take the initiative to protect students.

"We have not been asked by any school officials, but after reviewing the email sent to parents by [Ooltewah High School Principal Jim] Jarvis we were concerned," Miller said Monday morning. "We will have officers visit the school and the area."

Miller said Monday night that the police chief and command staff had been in contact with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and were told its staff would be at the school and that police assistance was not needed.

Miller said police will still patrol the area throughout the day.

Photos sent to the Chattanooga Times Free Press purport to show a message scrawled on the wall of the boys bathroom, threatening to "shoot up the school" on March 1.

Another message said: "I told you to keep your lips shut I'm done telling my plans."

On Monday, some parents checked students out of school, and teachers said attendance was down due to the continuing threat. Attendance is expected to be down again tomorrow as parents tell the Times Free Press they are keeping their students home out of concern for their safety.