LAFOURCHE PARISH, La. — Threats made to two Lafourche Parish schools on social media were found not to be credible, according to The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office.
Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre and School Superintendent Jarod Martin said investigations into screenshots of private Snapchat messages threatening shootings at Central Lafourche High School and Thibodaux High began Saturday and ran into Sunday.
Through investigations involving social media platforms, and state and federal officials, several copies of the same messages were found to contain "Central High School", a name associated with many schools across the country.
Law enforcement in other states revealed that the threat was a hoax and has led to several arrests across the country.
On October 22, a 13-year-old Monteleone Junior High School student from Lacombe was arrested after he was accused of threatening to "shoot up" his school on Snapchat. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office said they found the student at home where he confessed to the act and was booked into Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center on one count of terrorizing.
With the same messages circulating at Thibodaux High School and Central Lafourche High School, deputies believed the threats were "copycat" and have found no evidence of credibility.
Although the threat did not directly involve Lafourche Parish schools, security measures will be taken starting Monday, October 25 such as law enforcement presence for the next several days.
“Anytime there is a widely circulated threat or a local arrest involving a school threat, we’ve seen ‘copycat’ incidents over the next few days or weeks,” said Sheriff Webre. “I want to reassure the community that we are working closely with local, state and federal law enforcement officials as well as the Lafourche Parish School District to ensure the safety of the students and faculty. Every threat is considered credible until proven otherwise, and we will fully investigate all threats that arise.”
Sheriff Webre also made it known the extent of the consequences that can come from making these threats.
“Making a threat of this nature can result in an arrest and criminal charges, including the charge of Terrorizing, that will follow you for the rest of your life."
Parents are cautioned when it comes to sharing images or rumors of a threat on social media as it can provoke public fear and panic. They are instead encouraged to report all threats to school and law enforcement officials.
As the investigation continues, anyone with any information about the possible origin of these or any school threats is asked to submit a tip to Crime Stoppers Bayou Region by phone at 1-800-743-7433, online at www.crimestoppersbr.org, or through the Bayou Tips app on mobile devices.