Police say West High is safe after student posted threatening Snapchat selfie
The Anchorage Police Department issued a statement Tuesday reassuring the public that there was no threat to a local high school after a student posted a threatening Snapchat message.
The 15-year-old student took a selfie in front of West Anchorage High School on Tuesday, according to police spokeswoman Renee Oistad. She said the student “added a gun emoji, and wrote the words ‘don’t come to school tomorrow’ on the picture” before sending it to friends on Snapchat. She said those friends then shared it with several others.
Oistad said the student and parents, as well as school officials, have spoken with police school resource officers.
“Initial indications are that the intention of the student was to share this photo with friends and not to actually threaten anyone or have it shown to anyone else,” Oistad wrote, adding that, “It has been determined there is no threat to students or faculty and school is safe to attend.”
Principal Rick Stone issued a safety message to parents Tuesday, according to Anchorage School District spokeswoman Heidi Embley:
“Today a student came to us after seeing an image on social media that included a threat to students at our school tomorrow.
Within an hour, school administrators and SROs were able to track the image to the person who posted it and determined there was no threat to the school.
Student and staff safety is absolutely our top priority at West High and we took this post on social media very seriously.
We applaud the student who brought this to our attention. We know it’s not always easy for teens to talk to adults about their friends but this was the right thing to do to keep everyone safe.
I want to reiterate there is no threat to our school tomorrow
Tonight, I encourage you to talk to your child about what is appropriate to post on social media and the importance of speaking up if they have any safety concerns.
The incident is still under investigation, according to Oistad, who said it hasn’t yet been determined whether the student broke any laws.
West Anchorage High School did not go into lockdown mode and classes were not affected by the incident, according to Oistad.
“If any student sees a post on social media that concerns them they should immediately contact either a parent, teacher, School Resource Officer, or other trusted adult,” Oistad said in an email. “They are also welcome to call the Police Department directly.”
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