Lafayette junior high student arrested for threatening to shoot up a school dance
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — A threat came from a 13-year-old boy who went to Snapchat and said he was going to bring a gun to the winter dance and start shooting. The school officials in Lafayette say the dance will go on as scheduled, but with extra security.
Alanna Campbell had just dropped off money to her son so he could attend the winter dance tonight, the same dance a student threatened to disrupt with a gun.
“I feel like our police department is pretty good at doing their job,” Campbell said.
The Tecumseh Junior High School is on high alert. The school resource officer and his vehicle are parked right outside the main entrance.
I-Team 8 is told the threat was discovered on Snapchat just after midnight Friday morning. The superintendent of the school, Les Huddle, said the student making the threat had been on the districts radar.
“This particular student has had some minor issues previously, but not anything that would elevate to this level” Huddle said.
Lafayette police arrested the 13-year-old boy early this morning and charged him with intimation. Investigators believe that the middle school student was ready to bring a gun to the dance and use it.
“With safety measures and processes in place, our junior high is literally next door to our high school, so we will have extra security at the high school and Tecumseh Junior High School not only during the school day, but at activities this evening and through the weekend,” Huddle said.
Superintendent Huddle says the threat was made outside of school hours and not while the student was in school. The district monitors student email and internet activity while they are on campus. If a student uses certain words like gun or shooting, administrators are notified. This threat came to the attention of police when someone reported it. Huddle says the threat went beyond typical teenage bravado.
“Kids a lot of times will get angry and say things that they truly don’t mean and truly wouldn’t follow through with, but you still have to investigate or say wait wait sit back down and let’s talk through this and see, but when LPD tells you it is creditable, the level of seriousness is elevated certainly,” Huddle said.
Campbell says her husband had a long talk about the threat and she considered keeping her son home tonight from the dance.
“I have a lot of faith in our school corporation that they wouldn’t let something happen if they felt like if it was going to continue to be a threat,” Campbell said.
The student is believed to have acted alone, and no other arrests have been announced.