Not long after Whitman-Hanson School Superintendent Jeffrey Szymaniak e-mailed parents this morning that no social-media threats had been made against the district's high school, Szymaniak learned that, in fact, a threat had been made against the school.
Now three students at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School face criminal charges in juvenile court and school disciplinary action, Szymaniak and police in Whitman and Hanson said in a statement this afternoon:
At approximately 9 a.m. this morning, the school was informed that Whitman-Hanson students had allegedly posted a picture on social media of a threatening nature, following non-specific potential threats of violence made toward numerous school districts over the weekend. The post showed a Whitman-Hanson student holding a realistic-looking pellet gun with a caption telling people not to come to school on Monday.
The statement continues:
Students and family members cooperated fully throughout the investigation, and it was determined that there was no credible threat to the school community as a result of the post.
In an e-mail to parents, Szymaniak provided a few additional details: The photo had been taken at an "off-school activity earlier in the year and as a 'prank' a concerning caption was added to the photo and posted this morning."
He added that both he and police take such things very seriously and as more than just a "prank."