A threat made on social media brought Holt High School under lockdown status on May 21.
According to a statement from the district, the lockdown was due to “a message on social media that indicated students should leave the school because ‘the halls are gonna be a mess at 9:20.’”
“Our main concern was, when it was brought to the administration’s attention, it mentioned a time,” Chief Communications Officer of Wentzville R-IV School District Mary LaPak said.
As a precaution, the school was immediately placed on lockdown and Wentzville police officers were dispatched to the school.
There, school and district administrators worked with law enforcement to identify approximately 40 students who were included on the social media thread.
While still under lockdown, the authorities were able to conduct interviews with students, search the building and sweep the halls with trained K-9 units.
The lockdown was lifted around 11:45 a.m. that morning after the police’s investigation had determined that the building was safe and that there was no credible threat.
A statement from the school commended the work of the law enforcement, saying, “We are committed to providing a safe learning environment for our students and a safe working environment for our staff and we take any threat to our schools very seriously. We would like to commend the Wentzville Police Department and Holt administrators for their professionalism and efficiency in conducting their investigation and securing our school.”
It went on to urge parents to talk to their children about the seriousness of threats such as these and stated, “The more we work together with students, parents, staff, community members and law enforcement, the stronger and safer we are as a community.”
According to Jacob Schmidt, Wentzville police public information officer, the threat was made anonymously through the apps Snapchat and Yolo.
According to Schmidt, Yolo allows users to post to Snapchat anonymously. Schmidt described it as Yolo being a bubble around the user that shields their identity in Snapchat.
LaPak also noted that the incident is still part of an ongoing investigation.