RPSO declares social media threats directed at Rapides High School a hoax
RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office has declared that the threats of violence spread on social media directed at Rapides High School were a hoax.
RPSO originally arrested a student, believing this student was reasonable for the threats. That student was issued a juvenile citation, then released to their parents. However, RPSO has since revealed that they no longer believe this student had any involvement. They instead believe it was perpetrated by another individual.
School officials were made aware of the threats around 6:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 30. RPSO said no weapons or suspicious packages were located within Rapides High School when the school was checked.
Response to the Rapides High School threats
After the information about the threats was made public, KALB had several parents reach out with concerns about the handling of the situation. News Channel 5 reached out to both RPSO and the Rapides Parish School Board for clarification.
On why the suspected student was allowed to get to Rapides High before being arrested Friday morning, RPSO shared that the sheriff’s office was not aware of who the suspected student was until they were already on the bus. Because of this, RPSO made contact with them at the school.
When asked about the student being released back to their parents, RPSO shared that the suspect was given a juvenile citation and released at the school - not taken to the sheriff’s office nor questioned. RPSO did not share what the citation was specifically for.
The Rapides Parish School Board shared with KALB that the student is facing disciplinary action, but would not say whether the student was expelled or suspended. News Channel 5 asked if the student would be in school on Monday - RPSB said that they could not answer that yet. RPSB followed up with saying they could inform KALB on Monday if the student would be in school.
RPSB shared that by the time most students arrived at school on Friday, the search of the school by law enforcement was complete.
Reactions from RPSB and RPSO
RPSB also released this statement on Friday about the threats:
“The Rapides Parish School District is aware of the threat that was given towards Rapides High School within the last 24 hours. As a district, we are relentlessly committed to the safety of our students and faculty and the security of our school buildings. With this commitment, the district has policies and procedures in place to ensure that everyone within our schools is safe from any danger. We are thankful that the school administration, the school resource officer, and local law enforcement worked tirelessly together to keep the students and faculty of Rapides High safe from the threat.”
Rapides Parish Sheriff Mark Wood released this statement regarding the incident:
“Anytime a situation like this happens, we go all out to determine if these threats are credible or not. Our SROs, along with our school administrators will continue to work together to make sure we provide the safest learning environment possible to our students.”
The incident remains under investigation by law enforcement.
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