New Hope campuses in particular and Lowndes County schools in general likely will see a heavier police presence and some potential delays Monday (Feb. 26) following a Facebook post by a “Joshua Rolls” Sunday evening in which the person said he was “shooting that bitch up.”
It is the latest in a string of school threats across the country, including West Point, in the almost two weeks since the Valentine’s Day atrocities at a high school in Parkland, Fla.
“We are aware of it, the FBI and Homeland Security are involved, we are working it,” Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Marc Miley said Sunday night.
“We are tracking every possible angle and will prosecute to the fullest. Safety is everyone’s biggest concern, the school district, the school staffs, everyone. We ask that people be calm and be patient and particularly not to panic, go through your normal routines,” Miley continued.
While the threat mentioned New Hope schools particularly, it did not say which of the three schools on that campus. With that in mind, the sheriff’s department has called in assistance from agencies to cover all schools in the county.
“We will have an extra presence everywhere, New Hope, West Lowndes, Caledonia, in the morning (Monday). Things may be a little slower because we may be checking things extra. Please just be patient,” Miley said.
These kinds of social media posts have been frustrating for school districts across the country as they balance concerns for safety, parents’ fears and the fact the posts likely are hoaxes.
The post on Sunday evening by the “Joshua Rolls” prompted some other erratic posts from others, only adding to the community concern.
While West Point, woking with the FBI, arrested a student Thursday in connection with a threat posted on the “Fun Run” social media site, Starkville High also had some concerns about posts.
The FBI and other federal agencies have stepped up monitoring of social media sites in search of threats. It was the FBI that caught the West Point post.