Kentucky officials address ‘unsubstantiated’ school shooting threat

KY schools on alert after threat

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (FOX19) - Kentucky school districts sent out statements Tuesday addressing an unconfirmed school shooting threat that circulated online over the weekend, reassuring parents that the threats have not been deemed credible.

According to our Jonesboro, Arkansas sister station KAIT, the Little Rock FBI office had received a report that a school shooting would occur in Arkansas on Aug. 29. The report also indicated a school shooting would happen in Kentucky on Aug. 28.

This information, however, is unsubstantiated, the Louisville FBI office tweeted Monday.

The report did not include any information about if a specific school would be targeted, Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott told KAIT. He also said that no viable threat had been made to any schools in that area.

According to Elliott, the person who initially reported the threat — who did not live in the U.S. — received the information while playing an online video game. Agents could not identify the person who made the report, nor could they find their exact location. They also could not identify the person who made the claim about the threat to the reporting party.

Elliott’s response came after an Arkansas sheriff’s department employee was suspended after reportedly posting the information about the threat on social media, KAIT reported.

Now, one day before the report alleging a school shooting would occur, Kentucky school districts are reaching out to parents, staff and students in the community, making it known that the claim circulating around social media is not substantiated, but is being taken seriously.

Ludlow Public Schools sent a letter to parents, advising them of the unconfirmed claims.

“We are sharing this information to reassure all parents that we are aware of the situation,” Superintendent Michael Borchers said. “Student safety is a top priority, and we have protocols and practices in place on a daily basis to ensure the safety of our students and community.”

Kenton County School District officials said in their message that Aug. 28 “will be no different than any other school day when it comes to the importance of safety.”

Fort Thomas Independent Schools also released a notice:

Unsubstantiated threat notice: Parents, Fort Thomas Schools along with the Fort Thomas Police Department want you to...

Posted by Fort Thomas Independent Schools on Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Walton-Verona Independent Schools Superintendent Matt Baker said in a letter that they do not believe “this is a legitimate school threat,” and that school officials have been in contact with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Philip Ridgell with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office said school resource officers are aware of the threat.

“We want to make sure the community, students are safe and that a tragedy doesn’t occur in Boone County or anywhere close to home,” he said.

Further south, Grant County posted an informational message, as well as Pendleton County.

In a letter to Boone County Schools community, Superintendent Randy Poe wrote that there is no credible threat to any specific schools. They did not want to speak about the threat on camera today.

“Our administration will continue to work closely with the [school resource officer] staff, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office and the Florence Police Department to monitor and take all threats seriously,” Poe wrote. “As always, the safety and security of our students is a priority. We are committed to providing a safe learning environment for students and faculty at all times.”

Poe said school will still begin as scheduled Wednesday.

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