Police investigate Snapchat messages at Midway High School

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Midway High School had more police officers on campus Thursday after threats to students were made on Snapchat.

The principal says there were multiple fights at the school on Wednesday and these threats were directed to the students involved.

But, some parents were still scared to send their children to school.

One of the Snapchat conversations that scared Midway High parents and students read in part:

“Let them. I got a bunch of people backin too so its gon be a war “

“… got people who wanna shoot, so they bringing guns idk if they’l be on there waist I’m the school or in there car.”

“If they gotta bring guns they just — that’s all ima say. “

It mentions bringing guns to school and includes pictures. 

“One of them [her son] told me yesterday afternoon that there had been a bunch of fist fights at school,” says one Midway mom. “It seemed like it was related to the fist fights that had taken place yesterday.”

Midway ISD responded to the messages by bringing in more security officers, but Midway High mother Starsha Cardona didn’t see them. 

“I went to the front of the school. I saw three Hewitt Police in their vehicles and no one inside the school,” Cardona adds.

Cardona and Jean Mitchell, another Midway mom, say police officers are not enough to secure their daughters’ safety. 

“I don’t care if you have the entire world of officers here, can you guarantee my daughter’s safety? And she said, ‘Well, we don’t think this is a real threat,'” Mitchelle explains. “What are five extra officers going to do? I mean, there is like 7,000 kids there.”

Their daughters say they saw three fights at school on Thursday morning.

“My daughter and her daughter have been texting us all day long. There are now 27 cops at the school, and there have been multiple fights all day. Tell me where the safety of my daughter is,” Mitchell continues.

Both are very frustrated with how Midway ISD is handling the issue.

“This is what makes me the angriest because the email they sent they said it out to be like ‘Oh, it’s nothing going on. It’s fine. Everything is being handled.’ No. It’s not handled not by any means,” Mitchell explains. “Because it has continued through the night. It has continued today. And like I said, my daughter, I’m not putting her here in school until I know that this threat is taken care of.”

“I agree, I will not be sending her to school until I know that this issue is actually being handled,” Cardona says.

We tried to speak with Midway ISD on Thursday, but they referred us to an email which says:

MHS Parents,

This evening, a series of Snapchat messages have circulated causing concern among students, parents, and school officials. The posts have been investigated by MHS administrators and police. It was found to originally be an intimidation message directly related to those involved in the recent altercations, but then was misinterpreted by others to be a school threat.

While we do not think the original post or interpretations are credible threats to school security, we are taking any reports of this nature seriously and cautiously. Police are working closely with the families of the students involved and MHS administration to monitor and advise in the situation.

As a precaution, we will have extra security presence on campus tomorrow. Staff and police partners will be on heightened awareness to remain alert for any issues.

We are grateful for our police partners as well as the parents and students who contacted the police and school to make sure anything suspicious was reported. Open lines of communication are important for ensuring proper precautions are taken so we all feel safe in the educational environment.

Thank you for your attention and involvement in this situation.

Sincerely,
Alison Smith
 

Then later Wednesday evening, after school, they sent this email out to Midway High parents:

MHS Parents,

On behalf of the staff of Midway High School and district administration, we would like to thank you for your patience and support as this was certainly not an easy day. We especially thank our students and parents for sharing information and images about the snapchat posts. We appreciate our school resource officers and value our strong relationship with our Hewitt and Woodway police departments that partnered with our schools and community for safety and security.

As stated in messaging last night, an original social media post was directly related to fighting incidences that occurred on Wednesday.  Social media contributed to a distortion of the initial messages and perpetuated the rumor of a school-wide threat with possible weapons on the high school campus.

We take rumors of school violence seriously and worked diligently to determine the source and the intent of the snapchat posts that incited fears and anxiety among our students and parents.  Police departments provided additional security on campus today and our staff stayed on heightened alert.

No unwanted activity occurred today. Even though, our students were understandably distracted by the rumors. Please take time to talk to your students about school security, and make sure they feel safe at school and that they know trusted adults are available to discuss their feelings.

Sincerely,

Alison Smith

——–ORIGINAL STORY ——–

The principal at Midway High School says there will be extra security at the school Thursday morning because of Snapchat messages sent out Wednesday.

Principal Alison Smith sent an email to parents stating the messages were originally sent out between students involved in recent altercations.  Smith says investigators determined they were misinterpreted as a threat against the school.  She says police have contacted the families of the students involved.

The presence of extra security on the campus Thursday should be seen as a precaution, according to Smith.

Here is the email in full:
 

MHS Parents,

This evening, a series of Snapchat messages have circulated causing concern among students, parents, and school officials. The posts have been investigated by MHS administrators and police. It was found to originally be an intimidation message directly related to those involved in the recent altercations, but then was misinterpreted by others to be a school threat.

While we do not think the original post or interpretations are credible threats to school security, we are taking any reports of this nature seriously and cautiously. Police are working closely with the families of the students involved and MHS administration to monitor and advise in the situation.

As a precaution, we will have extra security presence on campus tomorrow. Staff and police partners will be on heightened awareness to remain alert for any issues.

We are grateful for our police partners as well as the parents and students who contacted the police and school to make sure anything suspicious was reported. Open lines of communication are important for ensuring proper precautions are taken so we all feel safe in the educational environment.

Thank you for your attention and involvement in this situation.

Sincerely,
Alison Smith
 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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