Fayette County

Instagram threat likely a prank, Lexington middle school principal says

After about four hours on “heightened alert” in the building, Winburn Middle School students and parents were told Wednesday that a threat discovered on Instagram was likely a prank.

Principal Whitney Allison told families in emails,” I want to assure you that we are taking this very seriously,” Allison said. “The individual responsible will face serious disciplinary consequences.“

Allison praised students “who responded appropriately by sharing the Instagram messages they received with adults.” Such safety concerns should be reported immediately, she said.

Shortly after 11 a.m Wednesday, Allison send out a first email on the possible social media threat.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we will have placed our school on heightened alert while we are investigating to ensure added security. During this heightened alert, we will be limiting movement around the building and curtailing access to social media in order to more easily identify the individual responsible for this inappropriate social media comment.

Winburn was just one of many Lexington, state and national schools who have had to respond to real or fake threats after the Florida and Western Kentucky school shootings this year. Many juveniles and young adults have been charged, but threats persist.

The school “will take all steps necessary to keep Winburn Middle School a safe place to learn and work,” Allison said.

Fayette County Public Schools officials did not comment beyond the emails, which they provided to the Herald-Leader.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: 859-231-3409, @vhspears