The Atlanta Police Department and FBI are investigating a threat of gun violence at Midtown High School posted last night on social media.
Midtown High Principal Dr. Betsy Bockman said in an email sent to parents and students that investigators had worked through the night to determine the source of the threat.”
“Thanks to help from APD and the FBI they were able to gather a lot of information. The investigation continues,” Bockman said in the email. She said there would be extra police presence on the campus in a post on the high school’s Facebook page.
Bockman said the school day and after-school activities would continue as planned, but support staff was available to talk to students. “This is stressful for everyone – students and faculty members. We will strive to have as normal a day as possible.”
“It is completely understandable if you want to keep your student(s) at home. It will be an excused absence,” Bockman said.
A search of social media shows that several parents tipped off police and APS about a social media post on Instagram that threatened to target specific students at the school.
The language of the Instagram post is almost identical to a similar threat made against high schools around New York City earlier this year, which were determined to be hoaxes.
APS issued this statement about the incident:
“Atlanta Public Schools Police are continuing to investigate a threat made on social media against Midtown High School students on Wednesday night. Parents were notified immediately. Extra security was present at Midtown for student and staff arrival this morning. Emotional support personnel are present at the school today to meet with students and staff if needed, and the day is progressing normally.
APS PD is being assisted in the investigation by Atlanta Police, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The safety, security, and well-being of APS students and employees is a top priority for the district.”