Extra Security at KCK schools following social media threat; parents upset with district’s alerts

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KANSAS CITY, Kans. — A social media threat prompted additional police presence at J.C. Harmon High School and Argentine Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas Wednesday.

Investigators are now looking for the person responsible for the threat.

A Snapchat screenshot threatening the high school began circulating around KCK Tuesday night and it didn’t take long for the post to spread.

“It’s scary. Very Scary, almost afraid to send your kids to school,” said the grandmother of a high school student.

The post reads “I’m shooting harmon up tomorrow, so many finna lose their lives.”

The person behind the post unknown, only identifiable by the snapchat name, ‘sshooterharmon.’

The shared post leading to dozens skipping school.

“A lot of people didn’t show up. Only like five people came to school in one of my classrooms,” said J.C. Harmon 10th grader, Rene Najera.

The threat was reported to the police department by a parent Tuesday night, and then to the school district, who then assigned extra security to monitor the school.

“Early this morning we found out about the threat at J.C. Harmon High school, that’s when, of course we began implementing a plan to make sure kids were safe, and then hours after that initial threat there were some talk at Argentine Middle School, so once again we started to make sure security was there and classes could go on as usual for kids,” said Communications Director for KCKPS, Sharita Hutton.

Hutton says any threat is always taken seriously by the district.

But some parents are upset with how the district handled the matter.

This statement posted to social media sites and emailed out:

Early this morning the staff at JC Harmon High School were alerted to a threat posted on social media. Like all matters like this, we take it very seriously and immediately looped in the Kansas City Kansas Police Department and our own district Police Department. Our students safety is our main concern and that is why we have various security measures in place—including additional security at the building.

We also want to thank the parent/parents who alerted the police department about the posts—working together is key.

But only after most students were already dropped off at school.

“I think the school should have called us and let us know what was going on, if I would have known that, I probably would have been real hesitant about letting her come to school today. But they didn’t let us know anything,” Steele said.

Investigators still working to determine the validity of the threat.

Detectives are trying to locate the individual behind the threat. They say charges are likely.

The schools plans to have additional security on hand for classes tomorrow, too.

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