‘There will be consequences’: Schools across the metro face threats on social media

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A metro student is arrested for threatening to take aim at her school.

In the last month, at least eight schools across the KC Metro have received threats. One of the latest was at Pioneer Ridge Middle School in Independence.

Police said the person who made the threat was taken into custody in the parking lot.

“School safety is important for everybody,” Independence Police Officer Jack Taylor said.

In front of the parent drop off on Friday, the Pioneer Ridge Student was taken into custody for “making terroristic threats”, according to police.

“This person had posted on Snapchat saying the they were going to come to school…with a gun and they were going to shoot people at the school,” Taylor said.

The investigation started Thursday just before 8 p.m. when parents flooded police and school district phone lines  — worried about the threat floating around social media.

Investigators jumped on the case immediately.

“They worked into about two or three o’clock this morning,” Taylor said about investigators.

Just before school drop off, police found out who made the post.

“We were actually actively going to look for the suspect, then we got information that they were on the way to school,” Taylor said.

Police were waiting in the parking lot.

Taylor said they stopped the parent and student before she made it into the building.

“Talked to her, talked to the parent. No weapons were located at that time at the school,” Taylor said, “and she is in our custody right now.”

Superintendent Dr. Dale Herd couldn’t give too many details about the active investigation, but said they have a lot of processes in place to handle situations like this one.

Attendance at Pioneer Ridge was down Friday, according to Superintendent Dr. Dan Herl, possibly due to the threat.

He said this student will face consequences consistent with board of education policies.

Discipline cases can range from out of school suspension all the way up to expulsion, according to Herl.

“Think before you post because there are long term consequences,” Herl said. “We’ve seen a lot throughout the Kansas City Metro. These sorts of situations. And if there is a situation where you’re caught doing this, the consequences will be severe.”

This past month, Park Hill School District has seen three threats.

Friday morning Lee’s Summit North sent this letter to parents.

Staff say an anonymous caller threatened to bomb the school.

Other threats were made to Hogan Prep Academy in KCMO, another out of St. Joseph, Mo.

On Wednesday a letter was sent to Ruskin parents about a student who brought a weapon to school. The letter said that student was stopped from walking inside.

“It’s very serious and if you put it on social media, we will find out, we will be able to track that,” Taylor said. “It’s not funny, it’s not a joke. There will be consequences for that.”

If you see, report it. Taylor said it speeds up investigation.

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