3 juveniles charged in connection to threat at Cape Central High School

This is the letter that was sent to parents on Wednesday afternoon. (Source: KFVS)
This is the letter that was sent to parents on Wednesday afternoon. (Source: KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Three juveniles have been charged in connection to a threat made at Cape Central High School late on Tuesday night.

According to Cape Girardeau police, the three were charged with terroristic threat.

Police said they are being detained in a juvenile detention facility. They said the juveniles did not have any guns in their possession, nor did they have a date set for their plan to be carried out.

Searching of their homes and school property did not reveal any evidence of guns.

According to school officials, the involved students were suspended from the school and are recommended for long-term suspension.

During the suspension, police said these juveniles are not allowed on any district property or at any school event.

The criminal investigation is ongoing.

According to police, there was no threat to the high school.

Dana Savarino with the Cape Girardeau School District said the investigation into the threat began Wednesday morning.

We're told a student alerted a teacher about the threat. The teacher then relayed the message to school administration.

An email was sent to parents of high school students just after 2 p.m. to let them know that the school was aware of the threat and an investigation was underway.

Savarino confirmed that the three students involved in the investigation were in class on Wednesday, but were removed from the school once the investigation into the matter was complete.

Police said the three juveniles involved in the threat at Central Senior High School were identified by school officials, detained and removed from the school. They were then interviewed by law enforcement.

Some parents we spoke with on Thursday morning said they chose to keep their kids out of school on Thursday as a precaution.

That morning, Superintendent James Welker sent an email to all parents in the district to make them aware of the investigation.

We spoke with Nisey Moore, a parent who came to pick up her daughter this morning after she heard about the threat.

She said she believes the school should've put more effort into making sure parents were aware.

"They should've closed the school," Moore said. "They should've called parents, they should've emailed parents, they should've did every contact that they want for us to put down, they should've did that. They should've made sure everybody came and got their children or had the option to come and get their children."

In the email, Welker said that the three students who are now in custody were questioned on Wednesday morning. He said their parents were also notified.

Superintendent James Welker defends the choice of sending an email to parents, and not a text alert, once the threat became known to school leaders.

"We could use a calling system, but at the time we were trying to get everything sorted through so we felt that email was appropriate," Welker said. "We also would encourage parents if they hear about things to call us. Many of them did and we were able to talk to them through the situation and calm their fears."

The Jackson R-2 School District also sent an email stating they had not received any threats.

"The Jackson R-2 School District will continue to follow all safety and security procedures and work with school resource officers, local law enforcement and staff to ensure a safe learning environment."

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