CLOVER -- Around half the Clover High School student body came to class Wednesday after Principal Ron Wright delayed school for three hours because of a threat written on a bathroom wall.
Around 9 a.m. Tuesday, a hall monitor discovered graffiti on a restroom wall indicating a threat to the school for Wednesday, according to an incident report from the York County Sheriff's Office.
Wednesday evening, Wright would not discuss the specifics of the threat.
"It's not Columbine or Chesterfield," Wright said. "It did not rise to the level of an alleged shooting."
School officials reviewed tape of the area near the graffiti and conducted interviews before seeking assistance from local law enforcement, the report states.
"I decline to comment on security issues at our school because it offers others the opportunity to copycat," Wright said.
The incident marks the third time since 2006 that Clover schools have been disrupted for security concerns. Extra police were brought on campus when graffiti was discovered in a bathroom at the high school in November 2006. Later, officials discovered graffiti at Clover Junior High School.
"We learned from that," said Greg Reid, Clover school district public information officer.
The delay Wednesday interrupted HSAP testing, which will be postponed until a state-mandated makeup day, Wright said.
At least four police officers, including two school resource officers, were on campus when students arrived in time for third period at 11:15 a.m. When school opened smoothly, officials turned their attention to trying to identify those responsible for the disruption.
"Our total focus right now is to try to find out who did it," Wright said.
The security concern prompted some parents to pick up their children before lunch while other students drove home or declined to come to school, resulting in a "below normal" attendance, Wright said.
"It is hard for me to determine whether the absenteeism is because the buses didn't run, our modified schedule or students were afraid," Wright said.
"I've had parents who preferred that their children not come to school. Under the circumstances, today's (Wednesday's) absences are excused. However, students are required to make up any work they missed."