Teen charged with making a terrorist threat in Iron County - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Teen charged with making a terrorist threat in Iron County

Justin Buffington (Source: Iron County Sheriff's Department) Justin Buffington (Source: Iron County Sheriff's Department)

An Iron County teenager is behind bars on a felony charge for allegedly making a threat against Arcadia Valley High School.

According to the sheriff's department, Justin Buffington, 18, was arrested on Friday at the high school.

The sheriff said that the threat came through an app called "After School." The third party app is designed to let students share "issues and concerns" anonymously. It is not officiated with Arcadia Valley R II Schools.

Court documents show the threat said "school shooting this Monday. Don't be late." It was posted on Friday, September 9 around 1 p.m.

School leaders decided to keep the school open on Monday and implemented safety precautions like searching bags upon students' arrival, according to the probable cause statement.

It went on to say that student attendance was down by more than 50 percent that day.

Sheriff Roger Medley said the case would have been cleared almost immediately if the app company would have provided the necessary information when it was requested.

Dr. Jim Carver, superintendent of Arcadia Valley R-II School District, agrees. 

"The app company worked with us, trying to resolve the deal," Dr. Carver said. "It's just they worked at their pace not at our pace. And the information that we did get like the sheriff said, I feel like we could have gotten it Friday evening when it happened, but it was prolonged where our community had to live through a lot of anxiety, a lot of discomfort, a lot of fear, whether to send their kids or not."

Sheriff Medley suggests that parents talk with their kids about the use of mobile apps, computer software and other devices.

Buffington is being held at the Iron County Jail on $25,000 cash or surety bond.

He is not allowed at Arcadia Valley School facilities or functions.

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