Increased police presence in Jackson school district after school threat, female juvenile arrested

Jackson schools back in session Monday

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - A female juvenile was arrested in connection with an investigation into a social media threat to the Jackson High School.

According to police, the juvenile was arrested for making a terrorist threat. She will be referred to the Juvenile authorities.

Police said during the investigation, they did not find any evidence of a bomb or any other items mimicking a bomb.

A message was sent out to parents by Superintendent John Link ensuring student safety and alerting parents that a stronger police presence will be at school Monday, Jan. 14.

"Good afternoon,

As we look to return to school tomorrow, I want to take a moment to reassure you as parents and community members. On Friday, we truly saw in action the safety of our students as our number one priority. Thank you for your patience, your trust and your understanding. We tried to communicate as effectively and as timely as possible. It was our hope to keep parents informed and our students and staff safe in a crucial moment.

When you bring your children to school tomorrow, you may notice an increased police presence in our District. Please reassure your children, these are our helpers. You’ll also see an increase in staff in our common areas to greet your children. These smiling faces represent caring adults who are looking out for your child and making sure they feel safe so that learning can take place.

I ask as parents and community members that you continue to speak up. As we encourage all of our students, if you see something - say something. Always report your concerns to local law enforcement and school district administration. Thank you for being part of a school district and a community that realizes it takes a village to support our children.

Tomorrow, I will wear my Heroes 4 Hope bracelet and my school colors with extra pride. I have met the heroes in the Jackson community. I have seen them at work. They are our teachers, principals and staff members. They are our local law enforcement. They are our students, parents, guardians and community members. They are people who truly care about kids.

My door is always open.

Sincerely,

John Link, Superintendent of the Jackson R-2 School District"

Investigators finished searching the school as of 11:50 a.m., according to a KFVS crew on the scene.

According to a Superintendent John Link, an Instagram threat came through before school on Jan. 11.

School leaders say they were tipped off by a woman whose grandchild showed her the post, which specifically named the high school.

The first bell rings for school at 7:50 a.m. School officials took immediate action to ensure the safety of the students. The majority of the high school was evacuated by that 7:50 bell.

Lt. Alex Broch with Jackson Police Department said the students were transferred to a secondary location and officers are at the high school investigating.

Superintendent Link said once knowledge of the threat spread through the community parents were coming to pick up their children across the district. He said in situations like this, communication is key.

District and high school officials sent texts, calls and emails out to the community to keep them informed.

Emergency Communication to all parents from the Jackson R-2 School District: District Wide Dismissal All buildings will...

Posted by Jackson R-2 School District on Friday, January 11, 2019

Later, a message was sent out to all parents with children in the Jackson School District to come pick up their students and all buildings will be closed the rest of Friday.

Parents could pick up their students at other buildings immediately and buses took students home at 9 a.m. district-wide.

Jackson High School students evacuated due to a social media threat

Link said they felt today was not going to produce anything positive from an educational stand point. The easiest thing to do was to dismiss all buildings.

He said a drill you really can’t prepare, but they do a plan in place for situations like this. Link said students were cooperative with school officials throughout the incident.

Jackson school and police officials held a news conference with updates on the incident at 10 a.m.

LIVE: Jackson school officials discussing social media threat early this morning https://bit.ly/2RLyw3W

Posted by KFVS-TV on Friday, January 11, 2019

According to Jackson High School Principal Seth Harrell, students could return to the high school on Friday from Noon to 2 p.m. to retrieve personal belongings.

Principal Harrell said there will be counselors at the high school on Monday morning and throughout the day to provide support to any student.

In a Facebook post, Principal Harrell praised how students responded to the situation.

The Jackson Police Department would like to thank the Jackson R-2 School District for their help and cooperation during the investigation. They would also like to sincerely thank their law enforcement partners, federal; state; and local, for their assistance with the investigation.

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