Education

FBI, Homeland Security respond to threat made against a Mississippi school. So did parents.

Harrison Central High students head for the buses after being dismissed early due to weather on Thursday, August 11, 2016, in Harrison County. A student was arrested last week for making a threat about Harrison Central.
Harrison Central High students head for the buses after being dismissed early due to weather on Thursday, August 11, 2016, in Harrison County. A student was arrested last week for making a threat about Harrison Central. amccoy@sunherald.com File

Authorities in Lowndes County in Northeast Mississippi are taking a threat made against one of its schools seriously. And, evidently, so are some of the parents with students that attend New Hope Schools.

The Columbus Packet reported that the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office is investigation a threat made against the school on Facebook. And the threat was very violent. The post, which said, among other things, to “prepare to die” if you attend the school on Monday, was made by “Joshua Rolls” on Sunday night, The Packet reports.

The post has not only gotten the attention of Lowndes County and Columbus law enforcement but of the FBI and Homeland Security, as well.

WCBI reports that only 179 students out of 800 were in school Monday in New Hope.

The threat is one of the latest made against a school in Mississippi since the shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14 that left 17 dead. The Coast has had more than 10 schools deal with threats made on social media or through other outlets since the Parkland shooting.

None of the threats made against Coast schools have been substantiated. However, there have been some arrests.

Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson said a 15-year-old Harrison Central High School student was arrested Thursday on a felony charge of posting an injurious message.

Peterson said school resource officers received a complaint and a photo from an Instagram account that made threats to harm students at HCHS. The officers were then able to identify the student, who was arrested and booked into the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Facility. The 15-year-old was being held pending a hearing in front of the Family Court Judge.

The threat was addressed by the school in a post on its Facebook page. The post, made Saturday, said about one-third of the school’s student body did not show up for classes on Friday.

The post assured the students and parents that those who missed school that day due to “fear,” would have been safe. The post went on to say that “anyone who came to HC Friday with the intent of harming our students was in infinitely more danger than our students.”

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