Social media threat spurs SHS lockdown

STARKVILLE — When Starkville High School officials received a social media threat on Monday, the school went into a modified lockdown for about an hour.

A Facebook post from an account with just three friends, no previous posts and no photos began circulating around 11 a.m. Monday morning. The post included a photo of three guns with ammunition sitting on a car seat with the caption, “Starkville High School get ready to scold I’m coming for you.”

Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Superintendent Tony McGee said Monday night that school officials were unsure of the origin of the threat, but local law enforcement investigators are working with the district to find the suspect.

Tony McGee

“Local law enforcement continues to actively investigate the origin of this message,” McGee said in an email to The Dispatch. “At this time, no suspects have been apprehended or charged. Investigators have determined that the photo is not a recent photo.

McGee said it’s important to report anything suspicious and that the district operates on a “see something, say something” principle.

A student reported the message to a teacher who then alerted the school administration.

The school was operating on a modified lockdown from around 11 a.m. to noon. A modified lockdown occurs when instruction inside a classroom resumes as normal, but no one is allowed out of the classroom for any reason until the lockdown period be waived by the school authorities.

Once the confinement was lifted, the school day proceeded normally.

McGee said safety is the top priority in the district.

“We are alert and aware, and committed to providing a safe, secure and welcoming environment for our students to learn every day,” McGee said. “Our school district has an enormous responsibility to take care of our students and staff, and their safety is our first priority. All threats to school safety and security are taken seriously and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. »

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