BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) – The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office says three men, wearing plain clothes and asking suspicious questions entered White Oak Elementary School, and then later Bogue Sounds Elementary School around noon Wednesday.
Almost seven hours later, parents were notified.
“We don’t want to cry wolf, we don’t want to enflame the situation. We perceive there’s a threat…we take action,” said Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck.
The school system says the first call to parents went out at seven Wednesday night.
They say it went out late partly to ensure their reasoning was legitimate and they weren’t misinformed.
All county schools require someone to be buzzed in to get access and must show proper ID, which is what these men did.
After the men asked suspicious questions, like if the school was equipped as a crisis intervention center, the Sheriff’s Office was notified.
“It’s obvious we have some retraining to do and we learn from very incident that occurs and we get better and we make sure that our staff, but students first of all are safe,” said Carteret County Schools Superintendent Dan Novey.
A second phone call went out after 10 pm giving parents the all clear.
Despite no threat, school officials say about 24 percent of students at White Oak were absent today and 19 percent at Bogue Sounds.
Sheriff Buck says the Sheriff’s Office initially planned to have increased security at the schools today but after the situation was resolved and there was no more concern resources were stood down.