Social media school threat deemed not credible; BC Schools react to threat as a matter of precaution
A social media threat against possible school targets in both Kentucky and Arkansas have local school officials on heightened alert and they are working to inform all stakeholders of the situation. No specific locations were identified. At this time the threat, which apparently originated from a gaming chat room, is considered not credible and unsubstantiated.
After the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security issued a statement describing a “general social media threat this week against schools in Arkansas and Kentucky,” Butler County Schools’ Superintendent Scott Howard contacted law enforcement officers to ascertain the seriousness of the threat.
“I have spoken directly with Butler County Sheriff Scottie Ward and Morgantown Chief of Police Giles Taylor. I have also been in contact with an FBI agent in Little Rock, Arkansas. There is no information to suggest this is a credible threat,” said Howard. “However, we recognize that any reference to a threat can increase anxiety and/or concerns on behalf of our students, staff, parents, and greater community.”
Below is the written statement from the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security:
“We are aware of a Facebook post circulating about a possible incident at a school being planned for the 28th in Kentucky and the 29th in Arkansas. Initially, the threat was reported to FBI Little Rock from an individual outside the United States. The threat was read in a gaming chat room that indicated there is going to be an incident at a Kentucky school on the 28th and an Arkansas school on the 29th of this month. The threat DID NOT name a specific location in either state and was very generalized. At this time, the complaint is UNSUBSTANTIATED. If anything further develops from this report, the KIFC will push out additional information as it becomes available. The FBI and KIFC, as well as state and local law enforcement continue to monitor the situation.”
Although the threat is considered not to be credible, Supt. Howard stressed the importance of school safety and taking all threats seriously.
“As a matter of precaution, we take all threats toward our school community very seriously. Student security and safety are our highest priority for our district,” said Howard. “As always, if you hear or see something suspicious, please don’t hesitate to call law enforcement or a school or district administrator. We appreciate your partnership in keeping our schools the safest place for our students to learn and grow. We will keep you updated if we learn of any new information.”
All local principals have been notified of the situation and will be communicating all relevant information to staff, students and parents.