Increased Police Presence at Oklahoma School on Anniversary of Sandy Hook Shooting14-Dec-2015
Three years ago today, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother and walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where he started shooting. Before he turned the gun on himself as first responders arrived, Lanza shot and killed 20 first-grade students and 6 adult staff members. It remains the second deadliest mass shooting in the United States, following only the Virginia Tech shooting that killed 32 people before the gunman committed suicide.
Anniversaries of tragic acts of violence often spark fear, and that is the case in at least one Oklahoma high school, which has stepped up its police presence in response to an alleged threat of violence to take place on December 14, the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting.
On November 17, Piedmont High School officials were notified of rumors about a vague threat against the school involving the date December 14. School officials and police investigated the threat, but were unable to find anyone who heard the threat first-hand from the person accused of making it. After school administrators emailed parents about the rumor, a community Facebook page blew up with concerned parents fueling the rumors about the threat. Later that evening, school administrators sent a second email, advising parents that another student came forward after school, claiming to have directly heard the threat from the student alleged to have made it.
Police again investigated, and the student rumored to have made the threat was banned from returning to school. Police said that they would turn the results of their investigation over to the Canadian County District Attorney's Office.
Parents remained concerned, and this morning, the anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting, many are choosing to keep their children at home, despite law enforcement's finding of "no credible threat."
In order to remain vigilant against any threat of violence, Piedmont police and the Canadian County Sheriff's Department increased presence at the high school and all Piedmont schools today.
Piedmont Police Chief Scott Singer said that he believes the situation is "stable," and that the extra patrols at the community schools is simply a precaution:
“I want the public to be assured that we have the cooperation of all parties involved. . . . Those unauthorized attempting to enter the school grounds, or anyone with ill intent will be dealt with severely. The police chief reiterated what we have been hearing so many times lately in the wake of violence in the United States and around the globe: “If you hear something, or see something, say something.”
In the meantime, the case shows just how seriously school and law enforcement take these threats of violence. The student remains suspended from school and there is increased law enforcement presence despite there being no criminal charges filed in the month since the alleged threat.
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