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Newton High to dismiss early after threat prompts lockdown
Newton High

COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton High students returned to class at around 11 a.m. today and will be allowed to leave early after the school was placed on lockdown in response to verbal threats made this morning.

"All students and staff have reentered the school building, without incident," the Newton County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. 

Sherri Partee, NCSS director of public information, said Newton High will dismiss students early — at 12:15 p.m. — today "due to the disruption."

"Parents who choose to pick their students up as car riders may enter the campus after 12:30 p.m.," Partee said.

Partee said in an earlier statement at about 10:15 a.m. that the incident began when "Newton High School was evacuated this morning for a fire alarm."

"During the evacuation, comments were made that were a cause for concern. Law enforcement is on [the] scene investigating. Students are still outside as a precaution. At this time, no one may enter or exit the campus."

The sheriff's office had earlier reported that the "threats were made to harm the students and staff at Newton High School."

"There is not an active shooter at Newton High School," the NCSO said in the statement. 

The school was placed on a lockdown while law enforcement officials conducted a search of the building, the sheriff's office stated. 

"Nothing is more important than the safety and security of the school’s students and staff, and we are taking these threats very seriously," the statement said.