Viral social media threats to Covington schools leave parents upset

Viral social media threats to Covington schools leave parents upset
Viral social media threats to Covington schools leave parents upset(action news 5)
Published: Sep. 24, 2022 at 10:52 PM CDT

COVINGTON, Tenn. (WMC) - Viral social media threats to Covington schools had parents on high alert.

A 12-year-old, who attends Crestview Middle School, was criminally charged with the threat of mass violence on school property or at a school-related activity.

Concerned Covington parents picked their children up from school Thursday after the threat went viral making its rounds on social media, according to Covington police Department.

A CPD Facebook post says there were several posts of threats to Covington High School and Covington Middle School.

A Crestview middle school parent said the 12-year-old contacted her daughter on Snapchat the night before.

“He kept asking her what school she went to, what school she went to, and she kept on asking why, and then I think she said why are you gonna shoot us up, and he said y’all fixin’ to die,” said Heather Barnett, Crestview parent.

Barnett said her daughter notified her grandmother of the threat, who she lives with. Then contacted the Covington Police Department and kept her home for two days.

Barnett said she believes the social media threat started all over a football game.

“They had had a football game with Ripley; I guess they’re sore losers. But last year, the dog on a football game between Ripley in Covington a woman and her daughter got shot, and the woman died,” said Barnett.

CPD quickly opened an investigation, working alongside other law enforcement agencies to identify a suspect. Police found the account was linked to a resident in the area.

Covington officials said they spoke with the juvenile and his parents and confirmed he did not have any gun or any means of obtaining one. The 12-year-old was officially charged in the Tipton County Juvenile Court and released to his parents.

Although it was a crisis averted for the students, staff and faculty, Barnett says it was a scary situation she was never notified officially about.

“I’m scared as hell and mad as hell, you know, I’m scared, mad as hell because didn’t nobody told me about this,” said Barnett. “The school should’ve called me and told me; the police should’ve called and told me -- somebody should’ve called and told me.”

Action 5 News reached out to the Tipton County School Board for comment but did not hear back.

Tipton County officials confirmed that notifications regarding the post were sent out to parents of children, according to the school board.

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