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UPDATE: Petal student identified after threat

Photo courtesy of TeleSouth Communications, Inc.

Update: A post from the Petal School District has confirmed that the student responsible for the threat has been identified. Because the student is a juvenile, his or her name is not being released, but the district says the student acted alone and is being disciplined “to the fullest extent possible according to school policy.”

“The Petal School District has concluded the investigation of a potential threat that was posted on social media over the weekend. After following all leads over a 36 hour period, a Petal School District student (juvenile) has been identified as the source behind the false threat that was sent through Snapchat. We are confident this student acted alone.

The student who is responsible for creating the false Snapchat post is being disciplined to the fullest extent possible according to school policy. Additionally, law enforcement investigators from the Petal School Police Department and Petal Police Department conducted a full investigation.” – Petal School District 

Superintendent  Dr. Matt Dillon issued a statement and says that threats to the safety of students, faculty and staff will not be tolerated.

“We cannot tolerate inaccurate posts made by anyone that causes a disruption to our school environment. It is unfortunate the irresponsible actions of a student caused such turmoil in our schools and community. We take every perceived threat seriously. Our district will always do what is necessary to ensure the safety of our students and staff. As powerful as social media can be as a communication tool, a post that isn’t true can create an unnecessary disruption for our schools.”

Dillion concluded by thanking law enforcement and the community for their assistance throughout the investigation.

“When misinformation is shared it desensitizes awareness of real issues. That’s why responsible use of social media is so important. We urge all students, parents, and community members to contact appropriate authorities anytime there is a concern for safety. We appreciate the many parents and community members who offered their prayers and support as we dealt with this situation. In addition, we are thankful for the efforts of the Petal Police Department, Forrest County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation for their assistance. As always, our faculty and staff do an amazing job of providing a safe and sound educational environment.”

A Snapchat message warning of a school shooting led to the investigation.

Original Story:

Yesterday the Petal school district was made aware of some possible threats after social media posts were circulated that mentioned Petal high school.

“We are actively investigating all possible scenarios through our own police force and with the cooperation of local law enforcement,” said a statement on the Petal School District’s Facebook page. “Additional precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of all students and staff on all campuses. We will have additional uniformed officers on all campuses beginning tomorrow – Monday, February 19th.”

Read the school district’s full statement below.

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