Hollister school leaders, parents respond to online "threat" posted to social media

Hollister, Mo. -- Hollister School leaders say there was no credible threat to student and staff safety after a student made a statement on social media Monday night.

School Superintendent Dr. Brian Wilson says school administrators were made aware of the statement at about 9 p.m. Monday. The post on social media said, "If you are a Hollister student, do not come to school tomorrow."

Dr. Wilson says school leaders notified the Hollister Police Department. Investigators found that there was no threat to school safety.

"They were on top of the issue and had spoken with the individuals and had it under control within the hour," Dr. Wilson said.

School Resource Officer Brett Taylor says he was confident that students were safe. That's why the district made the decision to have school, as usual, on Tuesday.

"My family is here at Hollister, my kids are here," Officer Taylor said. "I would not put anyone's kids in harm's way."

The district notified parents of the issue Monday night, telling them there was no credible threat and that school would resume as scheduled.

However, mom-of-three Kristen Frazier kept her kids with her on Tuesday.

"I think what scared me the most was the timing," Frazier said.

She says it was after 10 p.m. when she heard from the school about the statement posted on social media.

"When I hear 'threat' at 10:20 at night, I think the worst automatically," Frazier said.

While the message to parents assured them that the investigation revealed, "there is no threat to staff or students," Frazier wanted more information.

"I mean, what kind of threat it was? Who made it?" Frazier said.

However, police and school leaders say there is only so much information they can share.

"We are sharing what we can. The other thing that limits the school district is this student is a juvenile. So, we cannot share some things. We cannot share names," Dr. Wilson said.

While they also can't share what disciplinary action may be taken, police agree, this incident should be a lesson for students.

"I don't feel like there was a credible threat made. I feel like a young person said something foolish that they didn't really understand the full repercussions for," Officer Taylor said.

Meanwhile, the school continues to educate students about being smart online.

"The things that we say are very serious," Dr. Wilson said. "We are teaching them what is appropriate online, what's an appropriate use of technology. That's something we are doing in our curriculum. Unfortunately, this is an incident where that didn't happen. But, we are hoping that the more we can do that, and work with parents, the more we can limit these types of situations."

Hollister School leaders thanked people for reporting the situation and law enforcement officers for their help.

The investigation has been turned over the the juvenile office. That entity will handle any formal charges.