The Newnan Times-Herald


Western threat deemed not credible

  • By Rebecca Leftwich
  • |
  • Mar. 21, 2018 - 7:03 AM

Law enforcement beefed up its presence at Western Elementary School Tuesday after reports surfaced of an Instagram post referencing a shooting at the school.

School administrators followed emergency safety procedures until approximately 12:30 p.m., when law enforcement notified them they had determined the threat was not credible, according to a letter posted on Western’s website by Principal Jan Franks.

Coweta County School System Superintendent Steve Barker thanked the Coweta County Sheriff's Office for its quick response to the incident and for its support, including the posting of additional officers at Western throughout the day.

Barker also urged students and parents to report any threat circulating on social media directly to law enforcement and school officials.

"The disruption that is being caused by reckless social media rumors is unacceptable," Barker said. "The school system will seek to prosecute anyone making such threats or passing along such threats in a reckless manner."

An investigation into the incident began around 7:30 a.m., a half-hour after a parent told school officials about an anonymous shooting threat circulating on social media. 

The post allegedly appeared on Instagram late Monday afternoon and was being shared on social media throughout the evening, according to Dean Jackson, the Coweta County School System’s public information officer.

“Our emergency procedures were implemented,” Franks wrote in the letter. “Parents were notified by a handout in the car line, an automatic phone call message, and postings on our website. Students were not penalized for an absence today.”

Western is expected to return to normal school operations Wednesday.