Unverified school shooting threat prompts increased campus security


Mateo Kaiser

Late Sunday night, principal David Grissom was alerted by an MVHS student that a school shooting threat was circulating on social media. Although unverified, the threat is being investigated and police presence will be increased for the rest of the week. According to Grissom, the threat originated on the social media application Snapchat and was then reposted on Instagram by the anonymous “mvhsrealconfessions” account and others.

Anonymous Instagram accounts caused word of the threat to spread rapidly before administration was notified

A fire alarm Monday morning further intensified fears among students and teachers of a potential school shooting, with some perceiving the alarm as a signal to lock down rather than evacuate the classrooms.

However, according to Grissom, the fire alarm was a result of a faulty smoke alarm in the 500 wing and completely unrelated to the school shooting threats.

The threats themselves remain unsubstantiated, as administration and the MVPD has yet to find definitive proof that the threat occured at all.

Though the administration spoke with a variety of students involved in the social media exchange, they were only able to find one student who had seen the original threat. The student, however, did not have photographic evidence of the original post.

Despite the lack of conclusive evidence that confirms that there was a school shooting threat, the investigation remains open.

According to Grissom, there will be an increased police presence on campus this week and at graduation to promote student safety. Additionally, the administration notified parents and teachers of the threats on Monday morning.

However, though the potential school shooting threat spread quickly through social media before the administration was notified of the threat, Grissom said that he believed the intentions of students reposting the threat were positive.

“The intentions were, ‘Hey guys, be aware out there.’ Even the disclaimer said, ‘If you see anything, report to the police,’” Grissom said.

With these threats being one of the many social media related incidents at MVHS, and one of the thousands across the nation, Grissom emphasized the importance of proper social media education within schools.  

“I think our intent is to continue to educate our students in regards to social media and our actions on social media. And so as we move forward, maybe these [incidents] become less and less common,” Grissom said. “Over my last three or four years, I can think of about a million different social media things and they all seem to get out of control. And it’s so quick. It’s like a firestorm.”