Three Beebe students have been expelled for a calendar year a month after a December gun threat.

The Beebe School Board voted to accept Superintendent Chris Nail’s recommendation Monday to expel the students. District officials would not say whether any of the expulsions were related to the threat, but the district had initially said that two students had been barred from returning to campus until hearings could be held. Monday’s expulsion hearings were the district’s first since it learned Dec. 9 that a high school student had threatened to bring a gun to campus, resulting in an investigation, heightened security and the students not being allowed to return to school.

Beebe Police Department Capt. Barron Dickson said the parent of a high school student called the police station that Thursday night to report the threat. “As soon as we received the report, we contacted the school administration and started an investigation.”

Dickson said police were able to identify the person who reportedly lived outside of the city limits and was alleged to have made the threat. The White County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Beebe police to go with them to the residence.

“We made contact with the guardian of the student. The guardian was very cooperative and consented to a search for weapons and electronics,” Dickson said. “There were weapons in the home but the guardian had them secured in a safe and assured us that the student would have no access to any kind of weapon.’

Dickson said from what he understood, “the threat was made by the student to other students at school and then there was also a post that circulated on social media, but I haven’t actually seen that.”

Many of the night shift officers stayed on until day shift to be sure they were there when school started, Dickson sad. He added that all of the detectives and administration personnel were working as were extra officers driving around the campus and walking buildings. White County Sheriff Phillip Miller said deputies assisted to add an extra layer of safety for the students and staff on campus.

Nail said then that there were actually a couple of students involved and both were not on campus that Friday, “nor will they be.” He said the students would not be on campus until the hearings.

Nail said he feels the district handled the situation completely appropriately and he thanked law enforcement for helping the district with the situation. “There’s nothing more valuable in the community than our children, so any time we receive threats or hear of threats, we take them seriously and we report them to everybody who needs to be aware.”

Nail, who is in his fourth year as superintendent in Beebe, said the district had never really experienced a threat like this one. A statement from the district said its top priority is staff and student safety. “If at any point we felt that anyone was in danger, we would have notified immediately through all avenues. All who were directly involved in the situation were notified accordingly.”

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