J.H.S. Assisted by J.P.D. This Morning on Possible Social Media Threat

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 6, 2019 at 1:57pm

The Jacksonville Police Department assisted District 117 and Jacksonville High School officials this morning after a post on social media drew concern.

In an email to parents this morning, District Superintendent Steve Ptacek addressed concerns of the noticeable police presence at the high school.

Ptacek said that there was not an active threat to the high school, but that the social media post was something to investigate seriously.

It came to our attention that one of our students basically re-posted someonelse’s Snapchat, and it made a very general statement about feeling threatened at a “J.H.S.”and might having the need to respond to that threat.

It was brought to our attention by another party who had seen our student’s re-post. We contacted the police and they came out, we interviewed that student, and the police actually communicated with Snapchat and asked them to give us information on the person who originally made the post.

What it comes to in the long run is that it looks like this is a post given previously in time, not a recent post, because the student’s account that originally made the post, has not even been recently active on Snapchat, and the J.H.S. mentioned is likely not even Jacksonville High School. There are a lot of “J.H.S.’s” all over the area.”

Ptacek said that the student they spoke to did not know the person who had originally posted the image and it is believed to be in reference to another school that is refereed to as JHS and not a recent post.

Ptacek said that the investigation needs to be a reminder to parents, and the community as a whole, to come forward when information like this arises.

So with all of that, we definitely felt that there was not a threat to our school. But, we took it very seriously, we went through a very thorough investigation, but the one thing I am asking, and I asked in both my Facebook post and email that I sent home, is have conversations with your students, about if they see a threat, just bring it to the school’s attention right away. We will investigate, we will take it very seriously.

By posting that, by spreading it out there, you are very potentially spreading a false message that is going to create a substantial disruption to the school, and unnecessary anxiety among the community, our students, and our staff. So we are just adding that people come to us and let us know, and we will take it very seriously.”

Ptacek said that students should not avoid taking to school administrators about social media posts, or any other information they perceive as a possible threat, both to themselves, or the school.

Ptacek also expressed his thanks to the Jacksonville Police Department for their assistance in the investigation.

I would like to very much stress and thank again, the response from J.P.D. and Adam Mefford and his team is always amazing, and they are just fantastic to work with.”

No disciplinary action would happen to a student that comes forward with information pertaining to a perceived threat. However Ptacek said that if a student is found to post and promote or re-post anything perceived as a threat that could cause a school disruption, or an anxiety in the student body and school staff, that the student would be held accountable for their actions.