(A caption on a photo of Frankfort High School in the Frankfort Independent School District incorrectly said police investigated a threat there. There were no threats there. Threats were investigated at Western Hills High School in the Franklin County School District. The photo has been removed.)
As threats made against Kentucky schools spread throughout the state over the weekend and Monday, several arrests have been made and some school systems will see heightened security as classes resume Tuesday.
Frankfort police officers and Franklin County sheriff’s deputies said they will be stationed temporarily at all Franklin County Schools after three threats Monday. Two of the threats were found to be unsubstantiated, according to WKYT.
There will also be increased security at Southern Middle School in Pulaski County after a threat was made, according to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies talked with the person believed to be responsible for that threat and their guardian and believe the “situation is contained.”
Other schools systems, including Madison and Rockcastle counties, posted reassurances Sunday night and Monday saying that reported threats against their schools were found not to be credible. The schools said they would have increased security as a precaution.
Around the state, several teenagers and young adults are facing terroristic threatening charges in connection to threats made against schools.
“Threats, whether real or stupid jokes, can carry serious criminal penalties.” Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell said on Facebook. “Children, and that’s what they are no matter how clever they believe they are, need to be reminded of that.”
The school shooting threats have been numerous.
At 1:20 a.m. Sunday, Kentucky State Police were notified of a threat made against Clay County Middle School on social media.
A 13-year-old boy who attends Clay County Middle School was arrested soon after and accused of posting on his Facebook that he would bring a gun to school Monday, according to state police. He is charged with second-degree terroristic threatening.
On Saturday, the Nicholasville Police Department was made aware of a threat against county schools posted on SnapChat. Tristan H. Kelly, 19, and Cody T. Ritchey, 18, were later arrested and charged with terroristic threatening in the case, according to police.
Kelly and Ritchey are accused of using an image of a third person to make the threat, according to police. The third person was not believed to have been involved in making the threat.
Social media threats were also made against Knox County Schools, according to Kentucky State Police. Investigators believe a 13-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl, both students, had sent out the threats in hopes of school being canceled, according to police.
Both of the girls have been charged with terroristic threatening and are being held in the Breathitt County Juvenile Detention Center, according to state police. Their names have not been released because they are minors.
A third, Knox Central High School student Megan Scott, 19, was arrested and charged with complicity to terroristic threatening, according to state police. She is accused of knowing about the other girls’ threats and not notifying authorities.
A 17-year-old boy in Whitley County was arrested and charged with terroristic threatening in connection with threats made against that school district, according to the Whitley County Sheriff’s Office.
A social media threat was also made against North Laurel Middle School in Laurel County, according to Kentucky State Police. A 14-year-old boy has been charged with terroristic threatening and accused of sending a message threatening to “shoot up the school,” according to state police.
On Tuesday, another threat was made against North Laurel Middle School, according to state police. A 15-year-old has been arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree terroristic threatening in that case.
In Jackson County, a 15-year-old girl was accused of saying she would bring a bomb to school and blow it up, according to state police. The school was searched and no explosive devices were found.
The girl accused of the Jackson County threat has been charged with terroristic threatening.
A 16-year-old boy who attends Todd County Central High School was also charged with terroristic threatening after threats were made to the school on Monday, according to state police. The boy is accused of making bomb and shooting threats.
In Estill County, rumors spread of threats against the school system on social media. After an investigation, it was found that the threat had been made against a teacher and “necessary discipline actions were taken,” the Estill County Board of Education said on Facebook. The investigation is ongoing and further information was not released.
Akers also told WKYT that he believed juveniles accused of making threats against Kentucky schools should go to jail and that their parents should face fines.
The penalties for convictions of terroristic threatening, depending on the degree, can range from ten years in prison to a $500 fine in Kentucky.