A threat posted on social media led to a lockdown and a day of rumors and fear at Madison County High School Monday, Sept. 9, though no weapons were found at the school. However, one juvenile was taken into custody for something expressed to authorities after the investigation began.
“That person made some remarks verbally and based on those remarks law enforcement felt it necessary to take the person into custody,” said Madison County School Superintendent Michael Williams.
The superintendent said the investigation began when a student made administrators aware of something posted on social media. Williams said the threat was not very specific, but the schools began investigating the post. Once questioning began, word began to travel around the school quickly. Williams said a lot of misinformation was spread as fear ramped up and texts were sent on and off campus.
“Fortunately, there was no credible evidence of a weapon on campus,” he said.
Drug dogs had been at the school earlier and MCHS was on a “soft lockdown.” Then, the investigation on the social media post began and the school was put on a “hard lockdown,” which Williams said lasted 15-to-20 minutes.
“Safety is first and foremost in our minds regarding our students,” he said.
Williams said school resource officers were accompanied Monday by other law enforcement personnel in investigating the incident and stepping up police presence. Williams said the school system sent out notifications to parents after the issue had been investigated. Any parent who does not receive such notifications is encouraged to call their child’s school office or the school board office to make sure there is a proper phone number or email address for such alerts.
“We tried to do that (notify parents) as quickly as we could,” he said.
Sheriff Michael Moore issued the following statement Monday about the incident on his department’s Facebook page.
“Earlier today, the school officials learned of a social media post from a student stating they were making threats of harming students at the school,” said Moore. ‘The threats were involving a weapon on the MCHS campus. As normal protocol, the school was placed on lockdown. Multiple parents were contacted by their children and were told they believed a gun was on campus. After investigation, the offender was detained and charges are being pursued. The school was immediately taken off of lockdown and extra law enforcement presence was brought to the high school campus for the remainder of the day.”