Schools take precautions after online threats

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

Several Northeast Mississippi schools took extra security precautions on Monday after an online threat of a school shooting in the Prentiss County area.
Schools in multiple districts reported being on heightened alert after an anonymous poster had raised a question on the Topix.com social media forum of whether there would be a shooting in Booneville. The post did not specifically name a school.
Schools also had an additional law enforcement presence, but no incident occurred.
“We basically had the police there to be proactive and to let parents know we are going to take anything seriously,” said Booneville Superintendent Todd English.
The Booneville Police Department placed one of its vehicles outside each of the district’s schools and assigned officers to patrol the campuses throughout the day. Outside law enforcement also came to help investigate, English said.
Prentiss County Superintendent Randle Downs said he got in touch with law enforcement after getting a call at 6 a.m. Monday from someone who had heard about a threat to the school district. A small number of parents picked students up from the district, but it was not widespread.
New Albany Superintendent Jackie Ford said they had a semi-lock down with classroom doors locked and extra police on campuses. Union County schools were locked down until sheriff’s deputies arrived to provide an additional presence.
Baldwyn, Tupelo and Lee County schools were also among those who reported being on heightened awareness.
Lena Mitchell contributed to this story.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com