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Foley student arrested after social media threat

(IMAGE: WPMI) Increased police presence at Foley schools due to social media threat

It was a busy day at Foley High School. A teenager has been arrested for his threatening social media post saying he would shoot up the school.

Parents told NBC 15 there is some relief knowing the teenager was arrested, but they say it could happen again and can't believe this threat happened so close to home.

"Everybody was talking about it. They were all scared," says 11th grader Justin Keller.

A threatening text message saying a student will shoot up Foley High School was posted to social media sending students and parents in a frenzy.

"My best friend called me and told me there was a shooting going on at the school, the shooter was there, don't know if he was there, don't know if he showed up, so I came up here to check him out worried not knowing what was going on," says Kristen Stanper.

11th grader Justin Keller says dozens of teenagers were checked out of school in fear of what could happen.

"I had like ten people in each class and I usually have like 30 in each class," says Keller.

The teenager whose name we cannot release was arrested at Foley High School, which came as surprise to some.

"He wasn't at school, but he showed up at school. He wasn't marked in, he was absent and he just showed up because we were talking about it in first period and they say he wasn't in," says Keller.

The social media post was placed online in December. The school board handled the issue, but it resurfaced again this week.

"The quote had to do with harming people, but it was aimed more towards a female victim," says Foley Police Cpt. Thurston Bullock.

Keller says it involved the teen's girlfriend. Regardless of the cause it's something the school system, Foley Police Department and Baldwin County Sheriff's Office did not take lightly they beefed up patrol units around the school.

"To know that they are here protecting the children is a good thing," says Stanper.

"We want the students feeling safe. We want them to feel the safe and that's why we stepped that up. We have a lot of concerned parents," says Cpt. Bullock.

Officials say they work hard to keep the campuses safe and will continue to have this extra security until students are comfortable. The teenager did not resist officers, however it is unclear if he had any weapons or not at the time of the arrest. They want you to be aware of the consequences that comes with social media threats.

"It's definitely not a joke. As soon as I found out I did everything I could to get over here. I actually walked from the other side of 59 to check him out of school so it's definitely no joke," says Stanper.

The Baldwin County Superintendent released a statement on Saturday, January 12, trying to clarify what was originally said on social media:

This message is to clarify our e-mail to you regarding the social media threat at Foley High School. The screen shot media has on file and Foley PD has on file DOES include the words “shoot up the school.” It appears now those words were not written by the arrested student. The original social media post did not say “shoot up the school”. To quote the original social media post directly, it said, “F— up the school.” The superintendent is not excusing the fact that a threat was made.
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