The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


Friday the 13th, students stay home following threat at ADHS

Photos by Leah Slates
Bright ceiling lights reflect off of the newly waxed floor in one of the many hallways of Athens Drive High School. No students or teachers can be seen walking down the empty hallway.

Fri. 13, 2023, a Raleigh school was barred from almost empty hallways as students stayed home in fear that if they went to school they would face their fate to a bullet.  

The inspiration that caused the fear was due to an unknown individual who had written a school shooting threat with a black marker on one of the picnic tables located around Athens Drive High Schools’ campus. 

A student at Athens had photographed the written threat they found and posted it to their social media account. Others saw the post, became concerned and screenshotted it to post on their account to spread the attention of the concern. 

The threat soon became well known throughout Athens Drive. A common question that surfaced throughout conversations was: “Are you going to come to school on Friday?”

This was a controversial question. Many students and their parents argued that the threat was a simple hoax from an individual who wanted to stir up trouble and to create an excuse to skip school. Others would rebuttal with the idea that even if it was a hoax, they did not want to take the risk. The anxiety that they would feel throughout the day would not be worth coming to school. 

“There was a potential for a school shooting…I did not want to risk my life going to school,” said Isabel Schmidt, junior at Athens Drive High School. 

Some parents made the decision for their child to come to school, despite the child not wanting to go. The reasons varied between the parent finding the hoax absurd, or their child having tests, projects or quizzes they needed to be at school for. A fair amount of people who came to school for tests, projects and quizzes left campus once they had completed the things they intended to do, making the school feel even more deserted by the end of the school day. 

“It was so nerve wracking. The best way for me to describe it was like waiting for a fire alarm to go off, knowing it’s supposed to go off, but not knowing when it will happen. I was thinking about what could happen to them and what could happen to me. The halls had a strange feeling to them. It was like everyone was feeling a shared dread,” said KB Cornell, junior.

Those who attended school the day of the threat had diverse accounts of how the day differed for each person’s experience. Some found the day to be enjoyable due to the lack of students that showed up which meant that most teachers did not go about their normal day of teaching, rather playing games or doing relaxing activities for those present. Others found the day to be stressful as the low number of students in the halls added to the eerie atmosphere which made them more anxious and on-guard. 

“Since I’m in school there are less people in my class and most of my friends aren’t here. It does feel odd, but classes feel more fun and we do less activities due to the amount of people not here,” said Ahmad Abuhammad, junior. 

This is the math hallway of Athens Drive. There are blue square tiles that correlate with orange accents found around doorways. The hallway is empty, no one can be seen in this hall when the picture was taken. (Photos by Leah Slates)

Once the final bell rang at 2:18 p.m, many students were hit with a wave of relief as no shooting had occurred that day. 

The outcome of the situation worked out for Athens Drive, but the same concept can not be said for other schools. In 2022, an estimated 611 shootings were recorded. That number has skyrocketed since 2018, which had 24 shootings. By comparing the statistics, people can see how gun violence has increased, especially in schools. 

In the United States, the nation has had more than 200 mass shootings in the year 2022. For a shooting to be considered a mass shooting, at least four people would have been shot in the area. For this reason, most school shootings are considered mass shootings. 

Authorities have taken several suspects in for questioning; their identities remain anonymous to the public. One individual may be charged with a felony if more evidence is found. 

 The person who wrote the threat may have intended to bring a gun to school and shoot students, but perhaps they got scared and did not go through with their premeditated decision. The most valuable part of the situation is that no shooting happened and no person was physically harmed. 

“I thought it might be a joke, but I was worried for others who came to school in case it wasn’t a joke… I just hate that students have to feel unsafe in schools when they’re just coming here to learn and get an education…Thankfully it wasn’t real and nothing happened,” said Kyara Thambugala, junior.




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