An online threat to Troup High School Tuesday morning, Feb. 27, spurred district officials to close all campuses early.
A threat on the social media platform Snapchat warned of an alleged shooting that would take place at 2 in the afternoon at Troup High School, TISD Superintendent Stuart Bird reported.
Three students who received the menacing message reported it to their teacher who then sent the students to pass on the information to administrators, Bird reported.
“School Resource Officer Kyndal Brown was on the high school campus at the time,” reported Troup Police Chief Pat Hendrix. “She went directly to the classroom. Several students had gotten the message, but they were all in the same class.”
All the cell phones were collected for evidences purposes and a patrol unit was dispatched to each campus, according to Hendrix.
“Hopefully, this is a prank,” Bird stated.
The district chose to err on the side of caution, and sent students home for the day. No threat was made to any other TISD campus, but officials opted to run bus routes beginning at noon for all grade levels.
The recent school shooting at Marjoy Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is still fresh in many minds.
“We are all on heightened alert, but I’d rather overreact and keep our kids safe,” Bird said. “I’m hoping we can find out who this was and discover it was just a hoax.”
“We’re taking this very seriously,” Bird commented.
While allowing for the legal system to work, Bird stated that if a TISD student is found to be at fault, it is likely he or she would be expelled from school.
“Although there has been over 70 school related reports in Texas since the Florida school shooting on February 14th, most being false, Troup Police Department responds to and handles any threat against our campuses as if they are legitimate and viable threats,” Hendrix stated.
No arrests have been made, or any persons taken into custody at this time. An investigator trained in electronic communications is trying to backtrack the communication to its source, Hendrix reported.
The person or persons found responsible will be charged with terroristic threat, a third degree felony that carries a prison sentence of 2-10 years.
TISD schools were scheduled to resume classes at their regular times Wednesday morning, Feb. 28, with an additional police presence expected for the day, possibly longer.