Threats of violence force increased security at Southaven schools

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - Southaven High School's Thursday night basketball game was canceled amid fears of violence.

Southaven Police Department blamed the "social media frenzy" for inciting fear among parents and students at the school.

The fear comes after SPD increased patrols at Southaven Middle School after Snapchat images posted online showed students threatening to bring guns to school.

One post warns, "be careful tomorrow boy are going to be bringing guns to school." Another says, "Eighth grade is going to get shot up tomorrow."

SPD said the threats were never confirmed, but to err on the side of caution more officers were sent to the school's campus.

Students at the core of the threat were also interviewed, and police determined the threat was not valid.

However, later Thursday a Southaven High School student brought 3 other children to the school. Those children got into an argument with some athletes on the soccer field.

Witnesses said they heard a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot. However, officers never found a gun or any gunshot victims.

School administrators are dealing with all students involved in the threat on the middle school and the incident at the high school soccer field. It's unclear what if any punishment the students will face.

An eighth grade student said she was very scared even with an increased police presence at her school.

"Really scared to just turn a corner around in that school because you never know, somebody might shoot," she said.

We saw parent after parent coming to school Thursday afternoon, picking up their children.

"It's ridiculous because they're eighth graders and I think it's a very sad world we're living in," said parent Stacy Glover. "But to be safe than sorry I came and got him."

DeSoto County Schools issued the following statement:

The Southaven Police Department notified school officials after they were contacted by Southaven parents about an alarming social media post.  Even though there did not appear to be any credibility to the post, the Southaven Police Department provided extra security at Southaven Middle School and Southaven High School Thursday morning as a precautionary measure.

But the eighth grade student knows the students who made the threats, and she thought they were very serious.

"I mean yeah, I did," she said. "I thought the kid was actually going to follow through with it."

Some people said they think the school district handled the situation very well, while others said they didn't think they took it seriously enough.

The threatening Snapchat screenshots can be seen below. (WARNING: Pictures contain explicit language.)

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