Police departments, schools address state-wide social media threat

Area schools react to possible threat

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Several school districts around the state, as well as police departments, say they are taking seriously an FBI report of a possible school shooting threat.

According to multiple police and school district Facebook and Twitter pages, the Little Rock FBI office received a report that a school shooting would happen in Kentucky on Aug. 28 and in Arkansas on Aug. 29.

The posts do not provide any specifics as to a school, nor any direct threats to a school.

In a media release Sunday, Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said his department was made aware of a rumor on social media about a possible school shooting.

“At this time, no viable threat has been made to our area schools,” Elliott said.

Elliott said that the FBI sent out a notification to law enforcement this weekend about the situation.

“The Little Rock FBI office received a report indicating a school shooting would occur in Kentucky on August 28, 2019 and in Arkansas on August 29, 2019. The reporting party lives in another country, and his/her identity could not be confirmed. The reporting party allegedly receive the information while playing an online video game. Attempts to ascertain the identity of the person who made the comment on his/her location were unsuccessful,” Elliott said. “This information has been provided for general awareness.”

Overall, Elliott said police and the school districts are working together to help protect schools.

“No direct threats have been made to our local school districts. We take the safety of our children very serious and will provide proper security measures and work with our districts to achieve this goal,” Elliott said.

The reports have also been posted on social media, Elliott said.

“This has spread throughout the social media community. Myself, along with area superintendents, have received numerous phone calls from concerned parents,” Elliott said.

Earlier in the day, both Paragould and Hoxie school officials sent out similar alerts.

“The FBI could not confirm the source of the reporting party. PSD administration is not aware of any specific threat to our district,” Paragould school officials said on their student/parent communications app. “Keeping students and staff safe is our top priority and we will remain in contact with the authorities.”

“Hoxie School District, Hoxie Police Department and Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department have a plan in place. There will be officers on campus this week, along with extra patrols around campus,” Hoxie officials said. “The administration will be extra vigilant to provide a safe learning environment for students. Student safety is our number one concern.”

Both Gosnell and Tuckerman police said in Facebook posts that they take any threat seriously and that extra patrols will be on their school campuses during school.

****PSA READ ENTIRELY**** We are aware of the post about a threat of a school shooting in Arkansas and Kentucky. We have...

Posted by Gosnell Police Department on Sunday, August 25, 2019

This post is to address information that has been recently circulating on social media about the possibility of a school...

Posted by Tuckerman Police Department on Sunday, August 25, 2019

An attempt to reach the FBI office in Little Rock for comment on the situation Sunday was not successful.

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