MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee law enforcement is reportedly investigating a threat made against a Fayette County School.
The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office says someone made a threat against Fayette-Ware High School on social media. The sheriff’s office says the post contained a photo of someone holding a handgun.
Fayette County Public Schools says the school’s administration immediately contacted the authorities and district leaders. The school was placed on lockdown.
The school district says there is no immediate threat to any students or staff members. The sheriff’s office says investigators determined the photo was not taken at the school, and that it was a cropped and edited photo downloaded from a website that sells tactical bag and law enforcement gear.
The sheriff’s office says the original version of the edited photo came from a student in Fayette, Missouri. A local student got ahold of the photo, added a caption to mention Fayette-Ware High School and sent the photo out as a prank.
The district says no gun was found on school property.
Chief Deputy Ray Garcia says that student may now face criminal charges.
“Because when you have a threat that goes out that’s that serious, whether it goes out as a prank or a hoax or not, because of the affect it can have on everyone, the panic it can cause, that may warrant criminal charges,” he said.
The sheriff’s says investigators have been in contact with law enforcement in Missouri about the incident. The sheriff’s office will not be releasing the identity of the Fayette-Ware student.
Due to the incident, the school district announced that no spectators will be allowed at Friday night’s game between Fayette-Ware and Melrose. The district says refunds will be available.
In a statement released Friday, the school district thanked law enforcement for “their rapid response and professionalism during this investigation.” The district says it will continue to work closely with law enforcement.
“The safety of our students and staff remains a top priority and we want to assure all parents, staff and students that Fayette County Public Schools are continuously enforcing and reevaluating our safety protocols,” the district said in part.
The district says school will be in session Monday and all activities will resume as normal.