EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSCHOOL THREAT A "HOAX"
from Eyewitness News Online
Police: John Adams Middle School Shooting Threat Deemed A Hoax
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Apr. 19, 2012 4:45 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 19, 2012 4:58 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A threatening Facebook post that sparked the lockdown of a Kanwaha County middle school is deemed a hoax, and charges could be filed against an eighth grader, according to police.
At first, police said a Facebook "hacker" may have threatened a school shooting at John Adams Middle School on Thursday, but Eyewitness News has learned it was an eighth grade student who allegedly made the whole thing up.
For Samantha Hudnall, news of a lockdown and threats of a school shooting at her daughter's school was just too much to handle.
"Taking her out today was the best thing for me to do," she said as she picked up her daughter after getting a text message about the situation.
Police were alerted early Thursday morning of a person on Facebook sending a student messages that hinted they were going to execute a shooting at the school. Taking no chances, police were there as students arrived, and the school went into lockdown for about an hour.
"Every time there is a threat we can't shut down everything but we have procedures in place to keep everyone safe during that time while we do an investigation and see if there is any creedance with that," said Kanawha Assistant Superintendent of Middle Schools Melissa Ruddle.
Initially, police thought a hacker may have been sending the student the threatening messages, but an investigation uncovered it was all a hoax allegedly set up by the student. No threatening messages were ever sent.
"I'm standing outside a middle school with 12, 13, 14 year old kids who have access to the world through social media," explained Sgt. Bobby Eggleton with the Charleston Police Department.
Eggleton wants to send a message to parents that they should be monitoring their child's every move on the internet.
"Parents have got to take some responsiblity on this. I've yet to see anything postive come out of this social media stuff," he said.
Now, the student has been expelled. A lesson learned for both students and parents.
The student could face criminal charges. Police are working with the prosecutor's office to see what should be done. Using a hoax to threaten terroristic acts carries a possible penalty of one to five years in prison.
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