Two Center Hill High School students were arrested by the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department over the past weekend for their involvement in alleged threats against the school made on social media.
The DeSoto County School District acknowledged the arrests in a statement released following their capture, stating officials at Center Hill were initially contacted by the Sheriff’s Department about the ongoing investigation early Saturday morning.
“After a thorough investigation conducted during overnight hours into Saturday morning, the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department arrested two Center Hill High School students Saturday afternoon for their alleged involvement in cyberstalking via Snapchat,” the statement said.
Sheriff Bill Rasco said Monday morning the two males were being held in the Juvenile Detention Center and were awaiting a court appearance in juvenile court on Thursday. Rasco said the charges involved cyberstalking and making threats against the school.
DeSoto County Schools Supt. Cory Uselton stated school administrators and law enforcement acted swiftly and decisively to ensure that student and staff safety was not compromised.
“Social media posts and other statements must be taken seriously, and students must understand that this type of behavior will not be tolerated,” Uselton said. “If a student is involved in any type of threatening behavior, our school district will seek the maximum penalty possible, and the student will be referred to local law enforcement.”
Uselton expressed appreciation to the Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in investigating and finding the students responsible.
“We are grateful to the dedicated law enforcement agencies throughout DeSoto County that instantly respond to any potential threats to safety,” Uselton said.
The nation has been especially concerned about threats against schools, in light of last week’s fatal shootings at a Parkland, Fla. high school, where 14 students and three teachers were killed by a former student.
The threats made to Center Hill last week leading to last weekend’s arrests resulted in extra security around the schools on Friday morning. Sheriff’s deputies were seen on school campuses during the day to ensure safety.
Uselton said any threats made against schools, students, teachers and staff are not ignored.
“We urge parents and students to notify their school administrators or law enforcement officials if they ever hear anything that is concerning,” Uselton said. “I can assure you that every claim is treated with the utmost importance, and each report is thoroughly investigated.”
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.