Officials react to online threat to Spencer Middle

SPENCER — A social media threat to Spencer Middle School prompted police to walk through the building Monday morning, but officials say they believe students were never in any danger.

Roane County Schools Superintendent Richard Duncan said officials became aware of a “concerning” post on social media early Monday and contacted police. Duncan said the post was believed to be made by a student.

“We got the police involved and they reacted quickly,” Duncan said. “Out of an abundance of caution, we had a number of officers go through the school this morning. Students who arrived during this time were taken to the gymnasium.”

Duncan said police found no evidence of a credible threat, and after the start of the school day a call was sent out by the principal to update parents.

Duncan said the call was not made earlier as the initial threat was being investigated and was not believed to be credible.

“We don’t want to encourage rumors or react to rumors,” he said. “I know it’s frustrating for parents when they are hearing these rumors, but we are addressing it as quickly as we can. If we’d felt at any time there was a credible threat, we would have reacted appropriately.”

Officials posted a statement on the Roane County Schools’ Facebook page.

“After we learned early this morning of a concerning post on social media, we asked our partners in local law enforcement to assist school staff in ensuring that all students at SMS were safe and secure as they arrived at school. The social media post in question was addressed before the school day began this morning and additional law enforcement support was provided out of an abundance of caution,” according to the post.

The Spencer Police Department did not return a call seeking comment. No additional information was immediately available.

Today is the last day of school for Roane students for the 2018-19 school year.


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