Davenport Superintendent says school threats not credible-UPDATED
UPDATE: The following communication has gone out to all Davenport Community Schools Parents and Employees this morning.
To All Davenport Community Schools Parents and Employees,
Social media threats of shootings at our schools began yesterday at the Johnston Iowa School District. Those threats found their way through social media to Davenport on Tuesday evening.
The Davenport Police Department and the Davenport Community School District administration immediately assessed the source and content of the media posts and determined there was no credible threat; therefore, it was decided that school would continue on the normal schedule today.
All of us, including our children, become aware through media any time there is violence in our nation or in the world. This heightened sense of awareness increases our anxiety. The widespread use of social media and its 24/7 instantaneous access increases our feelings of vulnerability.
Our students, parents, and our community need to know that all threats are taken seriously. The Davenport Community School District works with the police department and other agencies to evaluate information in these cases and determine whether it is information we should react to. The safety of our students and employees is foremost.
Please report any threats through any form of communication to the Davenport Police Department at 326-7979.
Dr. Art Tate, Superintendent
Davenport Community Schools
ORIGINAL STORY: Davenport Police are looking into threats which have been posted on social media regarding a possible shooting at North High School.
According to police, they have been in contact with administrators from the Davenport School District.
TV-6 reached out to administrators at North High School. Communications Specialist Dawn Saul replied saying: "At this time the Davenport Community School District and the Davenport Police Department are aware of the social media threats that are causing concern. We have determined that the threats are not credible. There is no change to the daily schedule for any of our schools today." Principal Jay Chelf also replied saying: "The police have been working all night looking into these messages. We are taking extra precautions and we will have extra police officers in the area this morning and throughout the day. We will do everything we can to keep all of our students safe today."
Police say they are working to ensure the safety of all students and know that similar posts have been made in the Des Moines area. They say they are also working with those agencies to determine if there are any connections to these threats made on social media.
Davenport Police tell TV-6 none of the posts are specific to our area. Even if they mention an area school, police say the posts they have seen so far are simply being forwarded from places outside of our area.
If you’re caught making online threats, you may very well be committing a federal offense leading to years of prison time. Depends on where you’re located and the location of the threat target. Even if the threat-maker’s individual offense does not fall under federal guidelines, it will at least fall under a charge of first-degree harassment which is punishable by two years in prison and up to $6,250 in fines.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the Davenport Police Department at 563-326-6125 or submit an anonymous tip via the mobile app entitled “CityConnect Davenport, IA”