Authorities investigating possible school threat

School SignSchool and law enforcement officials are investigating a possible threat to Lewis County High School posted to social media Sunday evening.

The post was made in the name of a student at the high school although it was most likely made by another person using the student’s name to create a fictitious account, according to Sheriff Johnny Bivens.

“We treat these threats very seriously,” Bivens said. “We are investigating this reported incident about a social media post thoroughly.”

Bivens said information about the Snapchat post began circulating widely shortly after 9:00 p.m. Sunday, resulting in concern from students and parents.

Snapchat is an Android and iOS application with a primary concept that any pictures, videos or messages posted are only available for a short time before they become inaccessible.

Screen captures may be taken of the messages, photos or videos, however. A screen capture of the threat is what was circulated on various social media platforms Sunday night.

“We have been in contact with Snapchat company officials and we have seized devices and questioned those we believe may have been involved,” Bivens said.

“We have eliminated suspects as a result of our investigation and are confident the posted threat is without merit,” he added.

Lewis County High School Principal Jack Lykins said he received news of the posted threat about the same time as Bivens.

“We have been working closely with Sheriff Bivens and our school resource officer in this matter,” Lykins said.

“Any and all threats against students and staff are taken very seriously and we are making sure that all necessary steps are being taken to ensure the continued safety of all students and personnel in the district,” Lykins said.

“Sheriff Bivens has worked tirelessly on this matter since Sunday night and is continuing to follow-up on all leads concerning this incident,” said Lewis County Schools Superintendent Jamie Weddington.

Bivens said the account from which the threat was posted was created Sunday and added he believes the bogus account was established with the sole purpose of posting a threat.

“It is unbelievably simple to create a social media account with unverified fictitious information,” Bivens said. “Through our investigation we have eliminated possible suspects and identified other persons of interest.”

Lewis County students had the day scheduled off Monday for a staff only workday. Classes will resume Tuesday morning as scheduled, Weddington said.

Bivens urges students and parents to report any possible threats to school officials and law enforcement so appropriate steps may be taken to identify any possible potential threats and treat them accordingly.

Bivens also asks that anyone having information concerning Sunday’s incident to contact him directly at 606-796-2912.

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