Girls Arrested In Case Of Death Threats Against Students
Two girls have been arrested in a series of death threats made on social media against Russellville Middle School students this week.
Authorities told 5NEWS on Wednesday night that a middle school girl and a junior high girl were arrested in the case that has locked down the middle school each weekday this week. They face charges of falsely communicating terroristic threats.
An alleged student posted threats to a social media site over the last few days, saying he or she would “kill everyone” at school. The user on social media also mentioned 29 people on a “hit list,” saying, “I put bombs in these people’s lockers.”
The girls were arrested in “two separate incidents,” according to a statement released Wednesday night by the Russellville School District.
“The two girls were not working together and were not connected in any way,” the statement reads. “(The school district) is looking forward to a normal school day tomorrow.”
The middle school student is suspected of using the social media profile that threatened the school and students. The junior high student is not suspected of manning the profile, but was arrested in an unidentified separate aspect to the same case, police said.
Both girls were transported to the Danville Juvenile Detention Center.
For the third straight day Wednesday, extra officers from the Russellville Police Department stationed themselves at the school as a security precaution. They also searched lockers Tuesday throughout the school, according to the Russellville School District.
The school has been on a “partial lockdown” since Monday, meaning police escort the students around the school, and students are not allowed to go outside, a school spokeswoman told 5NEWS.
A few hours after the first lockdown ended Monday and students went home at their normal time, a user identified as “RMS Gosip Girl” told others on a social networking website that despite the increased security, he or she was prepared to kill students at the school on Tuesday.
Some students on the website encouraged the user to turn him or herself in to police and school administrators. The user responded around 5:15 p.m., “I am Jason okay i will confess tomorrow after i kill everyone. (sic)”
Another student tells the user, “You need to learn to forgive and forget.” The user responds, “I cant to manny (sic) people have been mean to me.”
By Tuesday morning, the social media user’s page was suspended from the site, according to a message that appears when trying to load the page.
The school district released a statement earlier in the day telling parents about the partial shutdown and initial threat.
“Russellville School District has responded proactively to a rumor at Russellville Middle School in which a student threatened a small group of students in a chat room,” according to a statement released Monday by the school district. “The parents of these students have been notified. RSD takes the safety and security of our students seriously.”
The statement goes on to say that security was increased following the alleged threat and that the “administration and local authorities are working together to (ensure) the safety of the students. Students will continue with normal school hours.”
The middle school added extra police officers from the Russellville Police Department on campus Monday morning and throughout the day as a safety precaution following the threat, said Ashley Snellenberger, the school district’s communications coordinator.
Carla Kennard has a sixth-grade daughter who attends Russellville Middle School. Kennard said a girl on ‘ask.fm’ created a public “hit list” of students from the school. Snellenberger said she could not confirm those details.
“Everyone was scared. There were cops everywhere,” Kennard told 5NEWS.
The messaged threats quickly spread to other social networking sites. One message on Instagram stated, “Bombs in lockers won’t know which ones, wish you hadn’t come to school today.”
Snellenberger said the middle school was placed on “partial lockdown,” keeping students from going outside. Students were also escorted by police officers during the school day, she said.