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As threats on schools mount, Olathe North targeted by someone hundreds of miles away

What happens during a school lockdown?

A school lockdown is a precautionary measure issued in response to a direct or nearby threat. It requires staff and students to respond quickly and comply with rules. Here’s how it often works.
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A school lockdown is a precautionary measure issued in response to a direct or nearby threat. It requires staff and students to respond quickly and comply with rules. Here’s how it often works.

On Friday afternoon, Olathe North High School officials said they reacted swiftly upon learning of a threat made against their school.

They contacted Olathe police, according to an email later sent to parents by Principal Jason Herman. But, like in many other districts responding to similar circumstances in the Kansas City area, the threat turned out to be baseless.

In fact, the threat on Olathe North was blasted out on social media by a person hundreds of miles away on the East Coast, Herman said.

The person had made similar threats against schools across the country, and he or she was later apprehended by police, Herman added.

The principal could not be immediately reached Friday evening for more details about the situation and alleged culprit.

Herman, as a school administrator addressing threats of violence, is hardly alone in the area.

Two days after 17 students were killed at a Parkland, Fla., high school, The Washington Post reported the shooting had spurred "copycat" threats, with some messages warning of "Florida pt 2" and "Round 2 of Florida tomorrow."

Some of the threats are coming not from teens but adults. The Tampa Bay Times reported that Jonathan Martin, a former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman, was arrested in Los Angeles on Friday after threatening his former prep school on Instagram.

"I am a high school senior who three days ago was worried about which of my friends would receive flowers for Valentine's Day." ... Now, "my main concerns are funerals, gun control and whether or not I am going to be shot wherever I go," says Del

Various other threats affected a number of schools in the Kansas City area this past week.

When students arrived at Park Hill High School in Kansas City on Friday morning, they were met by an increased law enforcement presence. Police were stationed at the school after learning a student had made a threat against the school on social media.

The school later notified parents that the student accused of making the threat had been removed. Darin Snapp, a Kansas City police spokesman, told Fox4 that the student said the threat was a joke.

Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools alerted families Friday that they were aware of recent threats made on social media.

And the Drexel School District became aware of a rumored threat on Friday. That threat was determined to not be credible, Superintendent Terry Mayfield said in a release.

On Wednesday, a threatening Snapchat message was received at Central High School in St. Joseph.

Schools in the St. Louis area were on heightened alert after numerous threats were made, including one to "open fire" at schools.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported a 14-year-old was arrested Thursday as part of an investigation into threats on schools. Police said they don't believe the 14-year-old intended to act out the threat.

And on Sunday, police in Republic, Mo., arrested a 13-year-old boy who allegedly threatened to shoot up a school with an AK-47 in a video posted on social media.

Local media reported the boy was taken to a juvenile detention on suspicion of making a terrorist threat.

Next month, thousands of students in Blue Springs have pledged to walk out of schools to protest gun violence.

Celia Allen wrote on a petition supporting the walk out that she wants "kids to have their right to education without feeling as if they are constantly in danger."

A school lockdown is a precautionary measure issued in response to a direct or nearby threat. It requires staff and students to respond quickly and comply with rules. Here’s how it often works.

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