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East Hamilton School in Ooltewah has experienced a slew of threats and dangerous behavior by students.
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The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office determined this photo depicting a young person holding a rifle inside East Hamilton Middle/High School was photoshopped from a social media posting.

After a slew of threats and dangerous behavior by students at East Hamilton School, two teens are now facing criminal charges.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office made the announcement Thursday after one student brought three throwing knives to school and another circulated an altered image of a juvenile pointing a rifle at students inside the school.

According to a news release, the teen who brought knives was arrested and transported to the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Facility and charged with possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds.

Criminal charges against the student who created and distributed the fake picture are pending, authorities said.

Both incidents follow two threats written on bathroom walls at the school, one yesterday and one today. 

East Hamilton School Principal Gail Chuy sent a message to parents of students at the school Thursday morning telling them that a second threat had been found.

"The message was directed at me personally, not at the school," Chuy said, adding that law enforcement is investigating the threat.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court Administrator Sam Mairs said making false threats is a Class C felony in Tennessee, and can be punished with three to five years in jail and a fine of $10,000.

"At the end of the day, this is more than kids being kids," Mairs said. "[Making threats] is downright criminal."

School board member Donna Horn, who represents East Hamilton's district, said Chuy alerted her Wednesday as soon as the threat was found.

"I think she handled the situation as well as it could be handled," Horn said.

Horn also went to a meeting at the school Thursday night wanting to support the school and be available to answer any parents' questions.

"It's important to keep everyone in the loop and not leave anything muddy," Horn said. "Parents just want to know that their kids are going to be safe."

In addition to the problems at East Hamilton, two other schools have also dealt with incidents this week. 

bomb threat was found written on the wall of East Ridge Middle School on Friday, and 16-year-old boy at Central High School was taken into custody after he brought a BB gun to school.

On Thursday, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond said, "Our young people need to realize the seriousness of committing these kinds of acts, which causes law enforcement to dedicate resources and personnel to matters that are hoaxes perpetrated by students.

"These types of incidents can seriously jeopardize a young person's future, their career choices, and ultimately cause them to end up in jail."

Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at egienapp@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6731.

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