Social media threat led to investigation

Published 8:17 pm Monday, April 9, 2018

A social media threat led to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office investigating the post through the night into Monday morning.

In the end, it was determined the threat was not directed at any school in Troup County.

The post threatened a school referred to as “CHS,” and claimed that the student was “going out with a bang.” It warned students not go to go school Monday, and given the initials, many worried it was referring to Callaway High School.

“The sergeant and corporal on patrol told me they were getting calls, and they’d actually gotten some from students who were calling 911 expressing concern that they saw this,” said Sgt. Stewart Smith with the TCSO.

“That’s why they did some digging and some investigation on their own and found the source was in New Mexico.”

Through the investigation, investigators with TCSO determined the post originated in Clovis, New Mexico, according to Smith. On April 5, Smith said the Clovis Police Department arrested a 17-year-old juvenile who was identified as the offender.

Deputies from the TCSO, including Smith, worked in the wee hours of the morning to make sure the rumor was unsubstantiated.

“It was a few hours before the school day was going to start, and we were able to squash the rumor before it even got started,” Smith said.

Callaway High School Principal Jonathan Laney was contacted about the findings, Smith said.

“We are proud to work with our local law enforcement who, like TCSS, takes all safety concerns seriously,” said Yolanda Stephen, director of public relations for the school system.

The post caused a school in a suburb of St. Louis to close Monday and schools and police departments all around the country investigated the threat.