(Updated at 10:27 a.m. Oct. 12): MHS still in session after social media threat

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Sarah Reed/Democrat-News

An individual who allegedly made a threat of a Marshall High School shooting is reportedly in custody, and the Marshall Public Schools administration stated they are taking the threat seriously and increasing security measures.

Superintendent Dr. Carol Maher issued a notice to high school families Thursday morning, stating several MHS students became aware of the threat Wednesday evening and alerted school administration. The threat was reportedly made on social medial of a school shooting being planned for Friday on the MHS campus.

“This is a serious violation of the Missouri Safe Schools Act. The individual responsible for the text is now in custody of the Marshall Police Department,” the notification stated. “Although building and district administration have yet to find viable evidence of weapons on the MHS grounds, we take this type of threat very seriously and are increasing law enforcement presence and other security measures on the MHS campus. Classes will be held as usual and we will alert you periodically during the day or at the point of further discovery.”

The threat comes after the Liberty School District — located northwest of Kansas City, roughly 1 ˝ hours west of Marshall — informed parents Wednesday evening of a social media post threatening high school students. School will remain in session in that district, as well.

Maher stated the district’s first priority is the safety and welfare of students and staff.

“We will continue our stepped-up security measures through the rest of this week,” the notice stated.

Information regarding the subject who reportedly made the threat in Marshall is not yet available. The Marshall Democrat-News will provide updates as soon as they become available.

According to MHS administrators, response to the initial information of the threat of school violence prompted safety and security measures that involved the Marshall Police Department, who helped the school secure the campus and contain the situation. Upon further investigation, school officials have learned that the threat was of self-harm, not a threat toward others. The individual has willingly accepted help and is in a safe setting off campus, the district stated.

The district issued a statement indicating there is an on-going partnership with MPD — that the MHS security officer and MPD recently conducted a joint planning session for potential emergencies such as this.

“MPS continues to remain vigilant regarding student and staff safety,” the statement read.

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