Schools closed, delayed in wake of threats
February 23, 2018 03:15 PM
CIBOLA COUNTY, N.M. – Classes are cancelled Friday at two Cibola County schools due to threats.
Grants High School and Los Alamitos Middle Schools will be closed today as authorities investigate. Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace posted on Facebook a message to the community late last night saying he believes it’s in the best interest of the students to close the schools and keep them safe.
Elementary schools will remain open with increased security present as a precaution.
Artesia Public Schools were all on a two-hour delay Friday as a result of a threat posted on social media. The school district's superintendent tells KOB messages went out to parents alerting them of the delay so that authorities could investigate.
Authorities determined the threat was not credible but police plan to gather all evidence possible and take the evidence to the district attorney for possible charges.
Schools opened as planned after the delay. Parents, however, were told they could keep their students home for the day without a serious penalty.
In Santa Fe, families and staff were sent a message alerting them of a threat on social media "possibly directed at Santa Fe High."
School officials said there would be an increased police presence at the school while the validity of the threat is investigated.
Meanwhile, additional security was expected at schools in Los Lunas due to another social media threat that was made on Snapchat.
Los Lunas Police say they were made aware of the threat on Thursday and tracked down one minor who screen captured and reposted the threats on Snapchat without reporting it to police. There are pending charges at this time for Interference with School Process due to the student not reporting the threats.
There have been a multitude of social media threats circulating the state since the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14. Some have been hoaxes, but regardless, authorities are taking every threat serious and are making arrests. KOB spoke with reality psychiatrist Dr. David Ley who says the pranks are a cry for help.
Hobbs Police say a Snapchat post also made its way to their town and circulated quickly. Officers have confirmed it to be the same post that has been circulating in numerous New Mexico cities within the last 24 hours.
Law enforcement is asking parents and guardians to remind children of the severity behind such threats and continuously monitor the social media accounts of children and report any suspicious activity to police.
Farmington Police say they'll be increasing police presence at schools following a meeting with the Farmington Municipal School District. The meeting came in response to the recent mass shooting in Florida and the desire to discuss how police can work with the district to increase safety for students and staff.
Farmington Police say they will now have uniformed offiers of all ranks, including the chief of police, making unannounced visits to schools conducting walkthroughs of campuses inside and out. This will be in addition to school resource officers already assigned to schools.
The plan was implemented yesterday and will remain in effect for the remainder of the school year.
Farmington Police Shief Hebbe talked on the department's commitment to school security.
"These are trying times in our community and across the nation," said Chief Hebbe. "Students and faculty should feel safe in the environment in which they learn and teach. We are committed to the safety of our citizens and will continue to work closely with schools and law enforcement throughout the country on this issue."
Deputies in Rio Arriba County say two students at Espanola High School were arrested Thursday after allegedly planning to carry out an attack against the school on Friday. They are both being charged with disorderly conduct, though no weapons were found in their lockers and vehicles.
Those arrests did not result in any delays or cancellations for the school.
Updated: February 23, 2018 03:15 PM
Created: February 23, 2018 06:03 AM
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