VANCEBURG – An investigation is underway following a possible threat to Lewis County High School posted on social media.
The threat, which was sent through a Snapchat post, began circulating widely after around 9 p.m. Sunday.
Snapchat is a social media application for IOS and Android where users send each other pictures that expire after a short time. Users can also post photos to their “story” that are viewable by friends for 24 hours. A screen capture, which saves the photo to a user’s device, is what circulated on various social media platforms Sunday night.
According to Sheriff Johnny Bivens, the post was made in the name of a student at LCHS but was most likely posted by another person using the student’s name to create a fictitious account.
“We treat these threats very seriously,” Bivens said. “We are investigating this reported incident about a social media post thoroughly.”
“We have been in contact with Snapchat company officials and we have seized devices and questioned those we believe may have been involved,” Bivens said.
Bivens added that his office has eliminated suspects as a result of the investigation and is confident the threat is without merit.
LCHS Principal Jack Lykins said he received news of the threat around the same time as Bivens.
“We have been working closely with Sheriff Bivens and our school resource officer in this matter,” Lykins said.
Lykins said that any threats against students and staff are taken very seriously and that the school is making sure all necessary steps are being taken to ensure safety for students and personnel in the district.
“Sheriff Bivens has worked tirelessly on this matter since Sunday night and is continuing to follow up on all leads concerning this incident,” said Lewis County Schools Superintendent Jamie Weddington.
According to Bivens, the account from which the threat was posted was created Sunday. He said he believes the account was established with the sole purpose of posing a threat.
“It is unbelievably simple to create a social media account with unverified fictitious information,” Bivens said. “Through our investigation, we have eliminated possible suspects and identified other persons of interest.”
Lewis County students had the day off Monday for a staff only workday. According to Weddington, classes will resume Tuesday morning as scheduled.
Students and parents are encouraged to report any possible threats to school officials and law enforcement so appropriate steps can be taken to identify and deal with potential threats.
Anyone with information concerning Sunday’s incident is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 606-796-2912.