A threat of violence posted on social media prompted an added police presence at Palmer High School on Thursday.

Justin Ainsworth, Mat-Su Borough School District Executive Director of Instruction, said a Palmer High student received the message via Snapchat late Wednesday night that warned of a school shooting.

The student contacted the administrators at Palmer High. Staff then contacted the Palmer Police Department.

Ainsworth said the district added a handful of extra officers to ensure students and parents felt safe. District staff said they don't know the credibility of the post but take all threats seriously.

"We work closely with law enforcement, and to have their presence, to have them involved," Ainsworth said. "I think it creates some confidence with parents, it reduces some anxiety and hopefully puts parents at ease."

Around noon on Thursday, there were three Palmer police cars and an Alaska State Trooper vehicle parked in front of the school.

Ainsworth said parents are always welcome to keep their kids home or pull them out of class if they want.

Parents and students should report any suspicious messages, but Ainsworth discourages people from sharing the threats on social media.

He said the district’s highest priority is school safety, preventing school violence and ensuring they are prepared for an act of violence.


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