The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

December 19, 2012

Threat at AHS not legitimate, police say

Officers to remain at school, detective says

ANDERSON, Ind. — Detectives investigating a possible threat of violence at Anderson High School on Wednesday were unable to find a direct source or any legitimacy to the threat.

In the wake of the mass shooting Friday in Newtown, Conn., police aren’t taking any chances, said Detective William Casey of the Anderson Police Department.  Officers intend to stay on the school campus for the remainder of the semester as a precautionary measure, he said.

“We’re going to keep everyone safe,” Casey said.

Detectives received information about a post on Facebook indicating a threat would be carried out at the high school sometime this week, Casey said.

After questioning some students at school Wednesday, they determined there was no legitimacy to the threat.

Laura Ogle, parent of a ninth-grader at Anderson High School, learned about the threat from her 14-year-old son. She attempted to contact school officials multiple times to gather information about the threat. She eventually received an automated voicemail message from the school informing parents there is no cause for concern.

“I feel like parents should be aware of what’s going on,” Ogle said. “We heard nothing about whether it’s real or a hoax or anything, and I’m worried about my kids no matter what the threat.”

Police contacted Ogle and told her they found no validity to the threat, she said. But she decided she would keep her son home from school the remainder of the semester, which ends Friday.

The school was buzzing with talk about the threat after school officials gave an announcement about the police presence, Ogle’s son said.

An afternoon announcement told students the threat was a rumor.

“Everyone was talking about it,” he said. “A student was pulled from one of my classes by police, and I heard the same thing happened in some other classes.”

Anderson Community Schools board President Scott Green said he was unaware of any specific incident involving a threat of violence at the high school. He said the superintendent’s administrative office performed a thorough safety review of AHS and other schools in the past 72 hours.

“I know they’ve been working really hard over there to make sure it’s safe,” he said.

Casey said the school and police took necessary precautions and will work together the rest of the week to keep the school safe.

Casey said he didn’t know specific information about the Facebook post that led to the investigation, but that such threats can feed fear even if they aren’t legitimate.

“It can be like chasing a phantom,” Casey said. “A lot of people are worried after what happened in Connecticut, and a lot of times kids hear about that and want to make up their own rumors.”

Find Jack Molitor on Facebook and @J4keSteel on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

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