Weekend threat against North KC school leads to arrest, as school leaders safeguard against future trouble

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Her family says she was just texting with friends. Prosecutors in Clay County don't see it that way.

One Northland woman is in jail, accused of making threats against a local elementary school. North Kansas City School District leaders are actively working to avoid future threats.

Police aren't laughing, even though family members of Asia Snell, 22,  tell FOX4 News her comments were just jokes. On Sunday night, Clay County Sheriff's deputies arrested Snell, after they received a Facebook message that said Snell intended to shoot up Ravenwood Elementary School.

"The school im gonna shoot up?  Its called Raven wood.  Can you drive me? lolololol," read the verbatim of Snell's message, which was turned over to police on Sunday. Police made a copy of that message available to FOX4 News on Monday.

FOX 4 News spoke with Lucy Dee, Snell's grandmother, who, on Monday afternoon, said Snell is an inmate at the Clay County Detention Center.  Dee says Snell lives at her home, and her threat is a misconstrued joke that was sent to a friend via text message.

"These are words of consequence, and she needs to learn from this," Dee said while parking her car on Monday afternoon.

On Monday afternoon, North Kansas City School District leaders sent home a letter, making parents aware of what had transpired on Sunday night. Meanwhile, educators in that school system have a plan to help avoid future threats. The district had already scheduled this week as School Safety Awareness Week.

On Monday, at Oak Park High School, as part of that week-long program, the school's 1,600 students were challenged to make new friends at the school by shaking hands in the school's hallways.

"Hello, what's your name?" could be overheard while students chatted as school wrapped up on Monday.

Oak Park High seniors Chad Humphrey and Annie Bensyl say it's a means of being friendly, and getting familiar with new faces. The hand-shaking ritual also encourages students to be aware of faces they don't recognize, some of which could represent threats from within.

"We are there for the security reason of it," Humphrey said. "The homey environment we have here builds a sense of familiarity with everyone who's supposed to be here. When that certain someone or something stands out, we can address it, and tell whomever we need to tell."

"We're able to recognize new faces and other friendly faces. If someone recognizes and face, and you don't, since you're getting to know more people, you can ask them, they'll fill you in and make you feel more secure," Bensyl added.

Snell is charged with one count of terroristic threatening. She'll answer to that felony charge in a Clay County courtroom Tuesday. Court documents say Snell isn't permitted to go near that school or interact with its staff or students.

North Kansas City Schools officials say they're thankful police silenced this scare as quickly as they did.