Threat at PCHS not viable

Extra law enforcement officers were at Patrick County High School on Friday, summoned there after school officials learned about certain posts on social media, according to Schools Superintendent Bill Sroufe.

By mid-morning, Sroufe said authorities and school officials determined “the threat was not viable.”

He explained the incident began to unfold Thursday.

Trey Cox, the principal at PCHS, contacted Sroufe Thursday night about a “veiled threat posted on Snapchat and then later on Twitter.”

Sroufe said Cox learned about the social media posts from students. The alleged posts were made about a week before, and students alerted Cox on Thursday, he added.

The typed post, absent of punctuation, stated “I just found out that someone is getting out of quest and hes coming back to our school. He said that things are gonna change for PC. The person that told me this said he doesnt want to get shot meaning he will bring a gun with him to the school.”

The post included a handwritten message that read: “Send to as many people (as) possible.”

The Quest Center Quest is an alternative education program designed to offer instruction to students for whom the regular program of instruction may be inappropriate.

Cox and Patrick County Sheriff’s Deputy David Haymore, who is the school resource officer assigned to work at PCHS, contacted Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith and requested additional security at the school on Friday, Sroufe said.

Additionally, authorities and school personnel were in contact with a student in connection with the incident to conduct a threat assessment, Sroufe said.

“The kid supposedly threatened was never threatened directly,” Sroufe said. “We think the threat was not viable.”

Sroufe said the school division responds to alleged threats according to the crisis plan. Officials also treat each threat seriously because “we just never know,” he said.

The division issued a statement before noon on Friday, thanking “students, staff, parents, community, and PC Sheriff’s Office for support during a recent safety concern. In conjunction with the PC Sheriff’s Office, we have followed proper protocol, completed our investigation, and determined there was not a viable threat to our campus. Once again, we commend our students for reaching out to our school administrators.”

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