Washington Evening Journal
https://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1694082

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 20, 2017

Social media rumors shut down school

Oct 06, 2017

UPDATE 5:15pm - Friday, October 6

Statement posted on Washington Community School District website

For​ ​Immediate​ ​Release​ ​-​ ​October​ ​6,​ ​2017 Washington​ ​Community​ ​School​ ​District​ ​and​ ​Washington​ ​Police​ ​Department Contacts:​ ​ ​Jeff​ ​Dicks,​ ​Superintendent​ ​or​ ​Greg​ ​Goodman,​ ​Washington​ ​Police​ ​Chief Upon further investigation conducted by local law enforcement and Washington Community School District (WCSD) officials, it has been determined that the student accused of making alleged threats involving the high school, never made the threats. Two students posted falsified information against a student of which the accused had no prior knowledge. Those who initiated the false and misleading social media posts may face further discipline and/or legal consequences. Due to confidentiality laws, local law enforcement and WCSD staff will not share specific information about individuals involved, discipline, or legal ramifications. WCSD staff are taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Moving forward, the district will continue working with students and staff on appropriate usage of social media.

Story published in the Friday, October 6 Journal ------------------

By Xiomara Levsen and David Hotle, The JOURNAL

 

Allegations of a threat that caused Washington schools to be canceled today has been deemed “non-credible” by Washington law enforcement.

During a press conference Friday morning, Washington Police Chief Greg Goodman and Washington Schools Superintendent Jeff Dicks reported, while the investigation remains ongoing, that “false and misleading” social media posts may have been at the root of the alleged threat. Dicks said that those who initiated the posts may face further discipline and/or legal consequences.

“There has been no connection found between this incident and what is happening in other places throughout the state and nation,” Dicks said. “As a result, classes will resume Monday, Oct. 9 at the normal times. All activiites will be held as scheduled Friday and Saturday.”

The Washington Community School District canceled classes at all of the schools Friday morning, citing a safety concern. A message on the school district’s website said district “will be working closely with local law enforcement to ensure a safe environment.”

After the press conference, several concerned parents who attended the conference questioned Washington High School principal Erik Buchholz regarding the safety concerns. Buchholz told them the police had searched the entire building and found nothing. When asked by one of the parents, Buchholz said he would be comfortable sending his own children to school Monday.

During the conference, Dicks said that if people see threats or other information via text, email or social media, it is best to not respond or engage with those who send the threat. He said people should take a screenshot of the content and contact local law enforcement or school district officials.

“It remains the top priority of the Washington Community School District to keep our students and staff in a safe learning environment,” Dicks said.

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