UPDATE: People attending Jacksonville State University’s three graduation ceremonies Friday saw an added security presence.
Buffy Lockette, a spokeswoman for the university, said campus police and the FBI are investigating an anonymous phone call that was made to the school Thursday afternoon, which threatened violence on graduation day.
Lockette said law enforcement swept Pete Mathews Coliseum Friday morning, with the help of K-9’s, before anyone was allowed inside for the first ceremony at 10 a.m.
According to Lockette, nothing dangerous was found.
“You never know if it’s serious or if it’s a prank. We just have to be careful,” Lockette said. “And the safety of our faculty, staff, students and guests is a top priority.”
While a few people attending Friday’s festivities were nervous, they said it was important not to let what appeared to be an empty threat ruin a proud day.
“At this point, nothing’s going to take away my excitement,” said Allison Mobley, who graduated Friday with a degree in accounting.
“Everybody’s come such a long way and worked so hard for this day,” Mobley’s boyfriend, Connor Barnes, added. “It’s important that it goes on.”
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Authorities at Jacksonville State University said they received an anonymous communication from a person threatening to disrupt graduation ceremonies on today.
University Police are the taking necessary precautions to address all potential threats. President John M. Beehler of the university says the school is focused on the safety of everyone in attendance.
“It is a shame that someone would attempt to disrupt what is a milestone for our graduating students and their families,” Beehler said. “The university will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the safety of our students, faculty, staff and guests. We ask for patience and understanding should any inconveniences or delays result from increased security.”