Law Enforcement Investigating 'Rumored Threats' at Harrison Coun - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Law Enforcement Investigating 'Rumored Threats' at Harrison County Schools

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The Harrison County Superintendent's office said 440 (approximately 71 percent) of students were not in school on Thursday, following a threat of violence that started circulating on Facebook Wednesday evening.    

"It spread very quickly.  And it was mountain made out of a mole hill, the old saying," said Chief Marshall Goff, Clarksburg Police Department.

"We got a threat that there was going to be a shooting. And everyone was leaving," said J.J. Leonard, an eighth grader at Washington Irving Middle School. 

Superintendent Susan Collins said the rumors changed fast.

"How did the story change? Suddenly there was concern about things happening at other schools in our county. Not at all the case," Collins said.

While law enforcement determined the threat was unfounded, it still took extra measures just in case.

"But today we did check book bags as students entered the building, just as an extra precaution," Collins said.

"We sent extra officers to W-I middle," Chief Goff said.

Visitors were also subject to a metal-detector test.

Some parents were angry that the schools, law enforcement, and news media didn't have answers quick enough.

"What we don't want to do, and certainly the same for you, we don't want to make matters worse. We don't want to spread things out there that aren't true. In the early stages of an investigation we're not able to divulge a whole lot," Chief Goff said.

Leonard was mad too, but for a different reason.

"It kind of makes me mad that someone would hoax us like that. They made us waste a whole day of school for nothing," Leonard said. 

Collins said parents have the right to leave their children at home if they feel it is unsafe, but she emphasized the schools and police do everything they can to keep students safe.  She said school is often the safest place for a child to be.

---Original Story---

An on-going investigation has determined that the information released on Facebook regarding threatened school violence against Harrison County schools is inaccurate, according to the Bridgeport Police Department and the Department of Emergency Services.

Harrison County Superintendent Susan Collins said Harrison County Schools were made aware of a situation involving rumored threats against Harrison County Schools Wednesday afternoon.

The schools contacted law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney's office.

The Bridgeport Police Department said it has assigned additional patrols to the schools to ensure the safety of the students and to alleviate fears in response to these false threats.

According to Collins, some parents did not send their children to school Thursday because of those threats.

Collins said they will be excused absences, just like inclement weather, but it is still considered an absence according to state code.

Officials said at this time, no credible threat has been identified.

We will provide more information as it becomes available to us.

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