Schools react to vague social media threat
WATERTOWN, CT (WFSB) - School districts around the state reacted to a vague threat to an unidentified school in Connecticut.
Districts in Southington, Watertown, and Plymouth said they were made aware of a threatening social media post.
In Southington, the district canceled all outdoor activities until it got to the bottom of the situation.
Schools in Watertown were on a 3-hour delay on Friday while investigators looked into the post.
Watertown police said they received information from the FBI early Friday morning about it.
“Since the most recent events in our nation, the FBI has increased their level of communication with all local PDs and we are thankful that their new processes are in action,” said Chief Joshua Bernegger, Watertown police. “When non-specific social media messages that include threats are received it is necessary to conduct a full investigation on where the message originated from and who the sender of the message is to determine the credibility of the threat.”
Police said that as of the most recent information they received, they confirmed that the sender of the message did not reside in the Watertown/Oakville area and the threat was not directed at any Watertown school.
“However, the investigation is still underway so the school district will continue to maintain a 3-hour delay and shelter in place for anyone on district campus,” Bernegger said.
The Watertown Public Schools Board of Education posted a statement about the incident.
“Watertown Public Schools strives to create a safe learning environment for all students,” it wrote. “The Board of Education, administration and staff will not tolerate, nor accept, discrimination for any reason. Any individual proven to discriminate against another individual will be disciplined in accordance with district policies.”
The Watertown Police Department said it will have an increased presence at all Watertown schools throughout the day on Friday.
“Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work with the FBI and the local school district to make certain our schools are safe,” Bernegger said.
Plymouth superintendent Brian Falcone sent out a statement.
“This morning a number of our surrounding school districts received a social media post involving a school safety risk,” Falcone wrote. “While our school district did not receive this general warning, we have taken the appropriate measures to secure our buildings and keep our students safe. I cannot provide details with regard to these safety measures, but our faculty and staff are aware and are taking precautionary steps to ensure everyone’s safety.
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