More school threats cause worries in New Mexico | KOB 4
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More school threats cause worries in New Mexico

J.R. Oppenheim
February 26, 2018 08:12 PM

CARLSBAD, N.M. -- The recent rash of social media post mentioning violence at schools continues to raise concerns in New Mexico.

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The latest threat targeted Carlsbad High School over the weekend, according to school and police officials. Carlsbad Municipal Schools Superintendent Greg Rodriguez informed families in a letter sent Monday morning.

Rodriguez told parents that police did not believe the threat was viable but said students may be anxious or fearful considering the school shooting in Florida that left 17 people killed. Rodriguez also said parents should talk to their children about the consequences that could result from making a false threat.

"Children may not always be aware of the consequences of what they do and say online, and they may find themselves in serious trouble perpetuating hoaxes on social media," he said in the letter. "If you believe an imminent threat to be credible, please contact the Carlsbad Police Department."

The threat did not specifically reference the Carlsbad High School in southeastern New Mexico. There is also a Carlsbad High School in California.

MORE: Social media a common thread in NM school threats

In a statement released later Monday morning, Carlsbad Police Capt. Jon Blackmon said the department started receiving phone calls about the post around 10 p.m. Sunday night. This was the second social media threat to hit Carlsbad schools recently, he said, and each one will be investigated as a crime.

"Although the threat itself has yet to be qualified, the nature of these coerced fears will always be considered the highest priority for the Carlsbad Police Department," Blackmon said.

Last week, several social media posts emerged online discussing violence at New Mexico schools. Some police investigations even led to arrests.

Here is the full letter from the Carlsbad schools superintendent:

Dear Carlsbad Families,

On Sunday night, February 25th, a social media post threatened violence at Carlsbad High School. Police were immediately notified and at this time they do not believe the threat to be viable. We understand that parents are very concerned about the safety of their children at school, and will take every step necessary to ensure student safety.

At Carlsbad Municipal Schools, we understand that our students may be feeling anxiety, fear and even anger about the recent events in Broward County, Florida. Please discuss with your children the importance of carefully choosing the words they use and images they post on social media accounts. Any communication that may be viewed as a threat can result in very serious consequences for your child at school and in the criminal system.

Children may not always be aware of the consequences of what they do and say online, and they may find themselves in serious trouble perpetuating hoaxes on social media. If you believe an imminent threat to be credible, please contact the Carlsbad Police Department.

Our top priority is to support the academic and social emotional needs of our students while maintaining a safe and orderly learning environment for all. We respect and support the right for parents to take the safety of their children as their highest priority. Please be assured that we will report and work with law enforcement to track down any social media threats and protect our students to the fullest extent of the law.

Sincerely,

Dr. Greg Rodriguez
Superintendent of Schools

In the Four Corners, the San Juan County Sheriff's Office says a 13-year-old girl confessed to writing a note saying she was going to "shoot up" Kirtland Middle School. The note led to a lockdown at the school. The teen was arrested.

"We wanted to let the public know that the threat was handled and charges will be filed appropriately," the sheriff's office wrote on Facebook.

Los Lunas Schools say they've had another social media threat at Sundance Elementary School. Though school officials believe it's a hoax, they said the district takes every threat seriously.

There is a hotline to report a threat. That phone number is (505) 865-1082.

We need the public’s assistance in reporting any threat to the proper authorities, including our hotline," Los Lunas Schools Marketing and Media Specialist Sidney Olivas said. "Please work with us and support our schools as we work through these challenging times.  Together we can continue to keep our schools safe."

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J.R. Oppenheim

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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