In an email to parents late Monday night, the principal at North Belton Middle School said Temple Police were investigating a post circulated on social media that threatened violence against the campus; However, Belton ISD said investigators did not believe the post was credible, and Temple Police described the post as "not specific."
Principal Joe Brown said the school was working closely with law enforcement, and extra resource officers would be present at the middle school on Tuesday as a precaution.
"Please know that the safety of our students is our highest priority," Brown wrote in an email obtained by Channel 6.
A post shared hundreds of times on Facebook references a possible shooting on Tuesday, Feb. 20. It includes a screen shot that reads "Im fr gonna shoot up nbms."
In a conversation Monday night, Temple Police Chief Floyd Mitchell suggested to Dr. Susan Kincannon that police did not believe the vague threat was credible, according to a district spokesperson. For transparency's sake, when Temple Police described the same conversation, Public Information Officer Shawana Neely used the words "non-specific" but suggested any difference between the wording was only "semantics."
Temple Police investigators were working Tuesday to determine the source of the threat. And, a spokesperson for the police department said all threats are taken seriously.
Attendance plummeted Tuesday, with only 60-percent of students in class at North Belton Middle School, after parents announced on social media that they would be keeping their kids home. For comparison, a Belton ISD spokesperson said average attendance was typically around 95-percent.
The Temple Police Department released the below statement:
"The Temple Police Department has been made aware of the nonspecific threat within the Belton Independent School District. Our department began investigating this situation over weekend. As all threats are taken seriously, additional Police presence has been dedicated to the school, as well as extra patrols in the area during the school day, to help ensure the student’s safety."
Below is a screenshot of the post circulating online.
Below is a transcript of the email sent to parents in response to the above message.
Parents and Guardians,
We are working closely with the Temple Police Department regarding a social media post that mentions a threat to North Belton Middle School. This post is not considered a credible threat by the Temple Police Department. However, they are investigating.
Please know that the safety of our students is our highest priority. As an extra precaution, additional resource officers will be in place tomorrow at school.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Joe Brown, Principal NBMS
Belton ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon released the following statement on Tuesday:
“Belton ISD has been working closely with the Temple Police Department regarding a social media post that mentioned a threat to North Belton Middle School. The post was not considered credible by the Temple Police Department. However, they are investigating to determine the source of the post.
School is operating as normal today, although there is an increased presence of law enforcement on campus. The safety of our students is a priority and we take all threats seriously.
Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about what they are sharing on social media and stress the importance of reporting threats to adults as soon as they are received.
Our principals are available to discuss concerns with parents.”