WHITELAND, Ind. – Police questioned a student in connection with a social media threat directed at Whiteland High School.
According to the Greenwood Police Department, several complaints came in about a 17-year-old student who posted on social media about “shooting up the school.” The student posted a photo of himself with what appeared to be a black handgun tucked into the front of his pants and captioned it, “Thought you could stop me,” police said.
Greenwood police contacted Clark-Pleasant School Community Schools about the situation. They went to the student’s home in Greenwood, questioned the juvenile and collected several items including a BB (airsoft) gun. The juvenile said the pistol was the one he’d posed with in the photo. He maintained that he never threatened to carry out a school shooting.
Police said the juvenile and his mother cooperated with the investigation. Police also interviewed several other students who’d been in contact with the juvenile. They couldn’t recall hearing him talk about a shooting. Police searched the teen’s computer and phone and interviewed him extensively.
Police said they found “no actual evidence” of any kind of threat from the student and released him from custody.
Superintendent Patrick Spray said school was running on a normal schedule Friday. He added that the case serves as a reminder of the perils of social media:
The school and police were made aware of a potential threat on social media by one of our students at Whiteland High School who posted a picture with a gun tucked in his waistband and comments about school. The Greenwood Police were quick to act and apprehended the individual before midnight. Police also communicated that the gun in the picture was an airsoft device.
We appreciate the quick action taken by the police department as well as the outreach by our students and parents when they became aware of the situation. School is running on the normal schedule today, but we have increased the police presence on our campuses as a precaution.
Social media can be a great communication tool, but it can also be very damaging to individuals and organizations when used maliciously. Please be aware of what your children have access to and how they are connected to the world with these applications.