Police have found nothing behind threats against schools that a now-jailed, ex-Abilene ISD student reportedly made through social media, Police Chief Stan Standridge said Thursday.
"I hope it's reassuring to our community, especially our parents and children, that so far everything has been centered around a threat, which we perceived as being very serious, which has resulted in an arrest," said Standridge.
Even so, police are continuing to take such anti-school threats seriously, and Standridge said law enforcement will strongly go after any students or others who make such threats through social media sites.
Police also followed-up on other leads after the teen’s initial social media threat and weren’t able to substantiate anything, Standridge said.
The arrest came after police addressed rumors circulating on social media sites that referenced a possible school shooting in Abilene this Friday.
"We think what has played out since then is that students heard about it and furthered the rumor or told others and it spread and then consequently it went viral," said Standridge.
He said plans remain for police to be placed in all Abilene ISD and Wylie ISD schools on Friday, as a precautionary measure.
The 16-year-old boy was un-enrolled by the request of a parent, according to police. Meanwhile, they say he was considering being homeschooled. He remains in police custody after being charged with false alarm or report, which is a state jail felony.
Standridge said some students who saw the post went to their parents – and those parents approached law enforcement with their concerns.
The police chief said he expects the teen to remain in the Juvenile Detention Center the remainder of this week and throughout the weekend.
In the meantime, Standridge said police are watching social media – including Facebook and Twitter – closely.
“We are monitoring social media,” Standridge said, reiterating that students and others who post threats will be found, arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Police said they found many postings from other teenagers spreading the rumors. Standridge warned that anyone else spreading false information on social media sites could also be arrested.
A detention hearing will be held tomorrow to decide whether the minor will be detained for another ten days. He could also face further consequences.
He could be adjudicated, with all charges dropped. The State could also decide to keep the boy at the detention facility until age 19. If he is tried as an adult, he could face 180 days to two years in a state jail if found guilty of the most serious charges.