Teen charged for sending threatening message, causing lockdown at schools

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HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — Update (8/15): Hoover police have charged a student following a treat that put Hoover City Schools under lockdown Wednesday.

According to police, a 15-year-old male is accused of causing a panic after sending a message via AirDrop to another student. The student was charged with harassing communications.

Although authorities say there was no credible threat, the AirDrop also created a large panic.

No other information has been released at this time.


Update (8/14): Hoover City Schools has concluded the investigation regarding the threats that left schools under lockdown.

HCS sent out a letter saying that after investigating, it was discovered that the threat was made via one student using AirDrop to send a threat to another student.

According to HCS, there is no credible safety threat to our students and the incident was not racially motivated.

Parents received an alert from Hoover City Schools and the police department Wednesday morning.

The student reported the message to an administrator Tuesday to prompt the investigation. Some parents want to know why they weren’t notified sooner.

“If there was a threat that was alarming enough to put extra security, then I think as a parent I should have been informed yesterday, or even this morning so I could have made my own choice on whether or not to send my child to school today,” said Anne Reigel, a parent of a child at Riverchase Career Connection Center.

Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy said she understands the concerns of parents, but said the district was following its threat assessment plan.

“We had been able to do enough of an investigation last evening to begin to feel that this was not a credible threat and it was likely not racially motivated,” said Murphy.

While there were concerns about the message being racially motivated, Murphy later said the student who sent the image and the student who received the image were both of the same race.

Murphy said ongoing investigations can make it difficult for authorities to release all the known information.

“We were able to begin to unravel this last evening to the extent where we didn’t feel like needed to alarm our entire community and or create some level fear in our children and in our families but I absolutely understand those parents wanting to know. But sometimes when we are in the middle of an investigation there is a timing there and there is reasons why we release when we do and how we do,” Murphy said.

The student who sent the image faces disciplinary action in accordance with the code of conduct. It’s unclear if the student will face charges from law enforcement.


Original (8/14): Hoover City Schools has released the following statement:

Many of you are aware, as we are, of a threat that was made anonymously using AirDrop via one student to another at our RC3 campus.  Please know that the safety of our students is our primary concern. 
 
The matter yesterday was quickly brought to the attention of school authorities and law enforcement officials and is being fully investigated.  We will have additional security available at our schools.

Hoover City Schools

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