LAFOURCHE PARISH, La. — Multiple non-credible threats of school shootings investigated in recent days may be part of a bigger social media challenge, officials said.
Since Sunday, when the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office arrested an 18-year-old Thibodaux High school student for allegedly threatening to bring a gun to school, officials said many schools have received multiple 'copycat' threats circulating on the Internet.
On Tuesday, detectives responded to rumors on social media about a possible threat of a shooting at Bayou Blue Middle School. Through investigation, they found that a student had reportedly drawn something that "could have been perceived as a gun."
That incident was investigated and no credible threat was found, officials said.
The next day, deputies responded to several reports of threats of possible violence at several Lafourche Parish schools. They found multiple threats that were similar to an incident that led to the arrest of a Houma Junior High school student in Terrebonne Parish on Wednesday morning.
In that incident, A 12-year-old girl faces felony terrorizing charges after saying there was going to be a shooting at her school and targeting two other students, via a private message on Instagram.
Lafourche officials said the threats they investigated came as similar messages, with only the name of the school changing on each.
While none of the threats were deemed to be credible, on Wednesday Lafourche Sheriff Craig Webre warned students that these 'jokes' have serious consequences.
“This is not a game,” said Sheriff Webre. “Making a threat of this nature will result, can result in an arrest and criminal charges that will follow you for the rest of your life. There is no level of anonymity that can protect you."
Webre said additional officers may be at Lafourche Parish schools over the next several days, "out of an abundance of caution for the safety of students and faculty."
Lafourche Parish Schools Superintendent, Dr. Louis Voiron said he encourages parents to talk to their children about the seriousness of making threatening statements.
Stay with Eyewitness News on WWL-TV and WWLTV.com for more on this ongoing report.