CABARRUS COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A threat was sent to the Cabarrus County Schools District office, according to the Cabarrus County Schools spokesperson.
Law enforcement officials did not believe the threat, which they say referenced "explosive devices" was credible from the beginning, but just to play it safe, they evacuated students and eventually shut down the high schools for the day.
The Cabarrus County Sheriff tells Fox 46 Charlotte the bomb squad and other resources were called out to Hickory Ridge High School because something appeared to be "out of the ordinary," but it turned out to be nothing.
Seeing the bomb squad driving onto school grounds was unnerving for Hickory Ridge High School student Kendall Overton.
“It was really scary knowing that's my school and everything,” said student Kendall Overton.
Students say they were first evacuated to the football stadium Thursday morning.
“The bells weren't ringing so we knew something was up and we tried to walk to class but they told everyone to go outside,” Overton said.
Then, they were told there was a bomb threat, and they needed to go home.
"Once they dismissed them, they didn't have their keys or belongings with them, so they were dismissed and had nowhere to go," one parent who was picking up their child said.
One parent sent us a text she got about the early dismissal at Hickory Ridge High School.
Other parents got calls from their kids telling them they needed a ride home. In some cases, brothers and sisters at Hickory Ridge Middle School across the street were picked up at the same time, even though that school didn't dismiss early.
“That's pretty scary, people would do pranks when I was in high school but it would just be the one school, but for it to be the whole county, it's pretty scary so we figured we should go get her,” said Kayla Wainwright, the sister of a Hickory Ridge Middle student.
The bomb squad, the fire department and deputies posted up behind the school, searching for hours, until they finally left, saying they found nothing
The original threat was sent to the school district office, according to a schools spokesperson. Deputies and police say the threat referenced "explosive devices.”
“It was frightening. There were helicopters, and there were students walking around all over the place and parents walking around trying to get them. It was terrifying,” the parent says.