School officials address threat made on social media

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SALYERSVILLE – School officials were alerted to a threat on social media Sunday night, ending in one student being expelled from the high school.

According to Magoffin County Schools Superintendent Scott Helton, at around 8 p.m. Sunday, November 5 night he was made aware of an online post made by a Magoffin County High School senior. 

“The student had made a vague threat with no names, no mention of weapons, and you would really have to insinuate it was even a threat, but we took it very seriously and addressed it immediately,” Helton said.

He talked to the principal of the high school, Chris Meadows, who then in turn talked to the parent of the student and the child, and made them aware that he would not be allowed in the school. 

Following protocols, Helton said they also turned it over to law enforcement, who also visited the parent and student. 

Helton said he cannot divulge the full details of the threat, the name of the student, or his full punishment, though he did confirm that the student will not be in the normal school setting at this time.

On Monday morning, November 6, the following statement was posted on the Magoffin County Schools Facebook page:

“Magoffin County School officials were notified last night about a student’s post on social media. The post did not refer to any type of weapon nor did it mention shooting. It was a vague, leading comment but did not mention shooting or a weapon. No students were mentioned in the post as well. Authorities and the students’ parents were contacted and all procedures are being followed.”

Law enforcement, per request of the superintendent and principal, were at the school Monday morning to ensure there was no threat and to make the students, staff, and parents feel safer. 

Though the original post was taken down, as were many of the shares of a screenshot of the Snapchat post, the Independent saved the post, which read, “If I don’t change my mind magoffin county will hate the ground I walk on.”

From that post, people started sharing posts saying the student was talking about “shooting up the school” on Monday, though that post appears to exaggerate the original statement. 

“We never know what may happen tomorrow, but no student was in danger this morning,” Helton told the Independent on Monday.

Regardless of the fact that the threat was addressed and neutralized before students stepped into the school on Monday, Helton said attendance district-wide was horrible and he anticipated it to continue to be low for a while.