Byhalia Middle School student arrested for making threats toward students, staff

Byhalia Middle School student arrested for making threats toward students, staff

BYHALIA, MS (WMC) - A Byhalia Middle School student has been arrested for making threats toward students and staff.

The student was in court today on unrelated charges when he was arrested.

As a result of the social media threats, Byhalia Schools told parents to send their students to school without backpacks Tuesday.

The school said it does not take the threats lightly.

Extra law enforcement was on hand at each school in the district Tuesday.

The district released the following statement regarding the threats:

Last night, the Byhalia Middle School administration was informed that a threat had been made against BMS students and personnel via social media. The BMS administrative team immediately began enacted the protocols from our school security plan by calling the superintendent and alerting law enforcement. All information related to the threat was turned over law enforcement. Finally, a public statement was then released by all three Byhalia schools alerting parents/guardians to the investigation. We would like to thank all the parents and community members who assisted in gathering the appropriate information. At this time, the students involved in making the threats will be dealt with according to Marshall County School District Policy. Throughout this investigation, the safety of Byhalia’s students and staff remained the top priority of the Marshall County School District. Additional law enforcement is present across the Byhalia campuses today. It is likely law enforcement will remain visible across the Byhalia campuses for the remainder of this week. We are confident that we have been able to secure the safety of our school for students and staff and are able to resume a normal school activities tomorrow.

The student has been charged with multiple counts of cyberstalking.

Byhalia schools ban backpacks amid threat

After the online threats were discovered, school officials jumped into action, trying to put parents at ease.

District officials beefed up security at all three Byhalia schools and told parents they didn't have to send their kids to school, if they didn't feel comfortable.

The student parking lot at Byhalia High School sat empty Tuesday after the social media threat surfaced.

“I don't see why they would threaten to shoot up the school because really it's just a whole lot of innocent people,” said Byhalia High School freshman Krista March. “We didn't do anything."

Krista stopped by briefly to grab something out of her locker but like most of her classmates stayed home.

"I didn't know what was going to happen,” Krista said.

Her father Arthur Brandon says he didn't let either of his kids go to school because he worried about their safety.

"It's pretty sad...It's just ridiculous this day and time that these children are acting like this,” Arthur said. “There's no sense in it."

District leaders say normal activities will return Wednesday, but security will remain visible for the rest of the week.

They say the students behind the post will be punished according to district policy.

Parents say that punishment should match the seriousness of the crime.

"They’re talking about taking people’s lives... that’s not OK,” Arthur said.

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