UPDATE: Threat at Austin High School unsubstantiated
Published 11:00 am Monday, December 13, 2021
APD does not believe message was intended as threat
A message discovered on social media Monday morning and initially investigated as a threat circulating at Austin High School proved to be unsubstantiated according to both officials with Austin Public Schools and the Austin Police Department.
According to information released by the school, Superintendent Dr. Joey Page said that the district received the information about the threat early Monday morning and immediately contacted APD, which quickly began an investigation.
In comments to the Austin Public Schools Board Monday night, Austin Police Chief David McKichan said the quick response time was due to the close relationship between the district and APD and that the district coming forward as early as they did helped bring about a quick resolution.
“That led us immediately to investigate this,” McKichan said. “We were able to figure out where this started.”
During the investigation, detectives were able to identify the starting point and went on to determine the original threat text/image came from the internet, according to a Facebook message from McKichan Monday.
In that same message McKichan stated that APD did not believe there was any intention of harm by the juvenile who posted the message.
“We do not believe the original intent of the juvenile in Austin, who posted the image from elsewhere, was to threaten anyone,” McKichan said. “Officially we could not substantiate any credibility to the threat. The school worked with that information and provided a message to parents and the community this morning based on that.”
It’s unclear which social media platform the message was posted to.
Page also stated Monday night that another social media post Monday afternoon referencing a gun being found was incorrect.
“No gun was found at Austin High School at all,” Page stated at the beginning of Monday’s meeting.
In Monday’s letter to the public, Page lauded staff and students for their help in resolving the issue.
“Thanks to the professionalism of the staff, the cooperation of students, and the quick response from the Austin Police Department, we could not substantiate any credibility of the post,” Page said in the release. “We will continue to follow our procedures and monitor the situation.”
While some students chose to go home during the incident, the school was able to conduct regular classes throughout the day without closing.