Authorities arrested a 12-year-old boy Wednesday on suspicion of making a threat against the Byng school district.
The Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office has taken the boy in to custody, Sheriff John Christian said Wednesday afternoon. He declined to release the suspect’s name or identifying information because the boy is underage.
The sheriff’s office will submit a probable-cause affidavit today to the Pontotoc County district attorney’s office, which will determine what charges are appropriate.
The suspect allegedly posted derogatory comments about Byng schools on the social media site Instagram, and some students saw the postings on Tuesday and notified the sheriff’s office, Christian said.
Authorities were investigating those comments when they learned that the suspect had posted another comment saying someone was going to carry out a shooting at Byng schools, similar to the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. That posting did not say which school would be targeted.
The sheriff’s office and other people alerted school officials about the threat immediately, Christian said.
“About the same time we were notified, someone was calling them,” he said.
He said he implemented a plan to provide extra security at schools in Roff, Vanoss, Latta, Stonewall, Allen and Byng.
Christian’s office worked with the Ada Police Department on the case. He said he wanted to thank the police department — especially Capt. Tracy Jackson and Detective Destry Musgrove — for its help in tracking down the suspect.
“The situation’s resolved, and everything needs to go back to normal,” he said.
Byng Superintendent Todd Crabtree said the district was not on lockdown Wednesday because officers with the Chickasaw Lighthorse Police Department and the sheriff’s office were present at each school. Ada police officers were on hand at Homer Elementary School, which is part of the Byng school district but located within Ada’s city limits.
School officials posted a notice about the threat on the district’s website and alerted parents with recorded telephone messages.
Ada City Schools officials also learned on Tuesday night that someone had used social media to threaten another school, said Ada Superintendent Pat Harrison. The threat did not involve any schools in the Ada district.
Harrison said school officials instituted a preventative lockout procedure, which included locking the main entrances and seating staffers at those doors, at all schools on Wednesday. The staffers screened everybody entering the buildings.
Under normal circumstances, school doors are always locked except for the main entrance, Harrison said. In addition, all parents and visitors are screened when they enter the building.
Apart from the extra security measures, Wednesday was a normal day for Ada schools, Harrison said.
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