Girl, 14, says she threatened local middle school 'as a joke'

(Photo by Alex Cano)
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) Authorities have identified the source of a social media post threatening a shooting at North Belton Middle School that kept about a third of the school’s students home Tuesday as a 14-year-old girl who said “she made the post as a joke,” Temple police said Wednesday.

“The felony criminal case surrounding her actions has been completed and forwarded to the County Attorney’s Office,” police spokeswoman Shawana Neely said in a press release

“It has been determined that this poses no danger to the students at North Belton Middle School,” she said.

Belton Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon issued a statement late Wednesday afternoon in which she said, "The safety and security of Belton ISD students is our highest priority and we take all threats seriously,”

“As such, the district will aggressively pursue disciplinary actions through both the Belton ISD Student Code of Conduct and law enforcement agencies against any person responsible for making threats to a campus, students, or staff,” she said.

“We appreciate the support and assistance received from the Temple Police Department. We acknowledge the cooperation shown by students and staff this week,”

Additional Temple police officers will remain at the school for the next few days, she said.

The additional officers were on campus at the start of the school day Tuesday, but some parents did keep their children

The attendance rate Monday was about 95 percent, but on Tuesday it dropped to about 65 percent, the district said.

"There's a lot of kids that talk to you about how it was going to happen and like it's going to happen. So it got really scary” student Emily Manhan said.

The district encouraged parents to talk to children about what they’re sharing on social media and about the importance of reporting threats to adults as soon as they’re received.