MATTHEWS, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Matthews Police have charged a Butler High School student with making a false threat of violence on social media against the school.
Police are asking parents to remind students that they are promising to prosecute students who make fake threats. Parents tell Queen City News the school has been keeping them informed every step of the way, and that is easing their minds.
Now that the prankster has been caught, one dad says he hopes the person faces consequences.
Police officers were all over Butler High School from the start of the school day Tuesday until the end, even after Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools confirmed someone posted a false threat on social media Monday night against Butler High School.
“We take these things very seriously, so I didn’t want to have her go to bed with this fear because it was all over her social media, but it was a concern for us,” said Michael Domras, a parent at Butler High School.
Domras says he talked with his daughter about what to do in case of an emergency at school.
“She still wanted to stay home from school today, but when we got up this morning and had the email from the principal, we were confident it was going to be handled properly,” said Domras.
The principal told parents that law enforcement tracked down the person who made the false threat, adding that students will face discipline and threats won’t be tolerated.
Two weeks ago, Queen City News reported exclusively on the uptick in false threats at schools and how police are working to make arrests.
“It’s frustrating; it’s frustrating not only to the department but it’s frustrating to the schools in particular; within a week we’re fielding anywhere between 3 and 5 threats, false threats,” said Sgt. J.D. Williams, with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.
Safety is top of mind, especially at Butler.
“I was concerned because of the history at Butler,” said Domras.
Almost exactly five years ago, in October 2018, one classmate shot and killed another classmate while school was in session after police say a fight off school grounds from the weekend carried over to the shooting on campus.
“There was an isolated incident,” said Michelle Painter, a parent at Butler High School.
Even so, parents say every threat should be taken seriously.
“It is not something to fool around with, and I think without strong penalties for that if you don’t suffer the consequences of a prank, it will continue,” said Domras.
Matthews Police say the student will be charged with communicating a threat of mass violence on educational property through the North Carolina Juvenile Justice System.
The principal at Butler is asking parents and students to take responsibility and help make schools safe by reporting any threats or potential threats at school. They can do that anonymously through the ‘See Something, Say Something’ app.
CMS released the following updated statement Tuesday:
“Good morning Butler High School families. This is Principal Blakeney with an update regarding the threat we received on social media. Law enforcement has found the person who made the threat. The threat is not credible. The person responsible states the threat was just a prank. Please know that pranks that disrupt the learning environment and make our students, staff, and families feel unsafe will not be tolerated.
Reports of threats or perceived threats are taken very seriously and are a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Students in violation will be disciplined accordingly. If you or your child are aware of any threats, you are encouraged to report the threats to authorities, tell a trusted adult, or report it on the Say Something app.
We understand that some of our families were concerned by the threat and may have kept their children home as a result. Our goal is to keep all students and staff safe and we respect your decision. We ask that you continue to partner with us in creating a safe learning environment for all students and staff. Your well-being is our top priority.“