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No high school threat---just a misunderstanding

Craig Smith

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

No high school threat---just a misunderstanding

CREATED Sep. 4, 2013

ORO VALLEY, Ariz (KGUN9-TV) - What seemed like a threatening internet post put Ironwood Ridge High School on edge and the campus on alert.  

Schools are very sensitive about anything that could be a threat and schools are real rumor mills.  Add the instant communication of tweets and texts and fear can spread fast.

Ironwood Ridge Junior Nick Vosburg remembers how students reacted when they heard of an odd message posted about the school.

"We found out at the volleyball game yesterday when the game was going on.  The game just kind of stopped and everyone started looking at their phones."

What stopped them was an internet post on a site called 4Chan.org.  It showed a satellite photo of the school, with the line: "In a week from now the whole world will know this high school."

Incidents like the Newtown School shootings have people so worried about school violence people took that post as a threat.  Parents called police. Comments on the post made police feel the danger was escalating.  They joined with the FBI to find the student who made that post and found it was never meant as a threat.

Oro Valley Police Lt Kara Riley says, "They were referring to actually a sporting event and in support of that sporting event and they were basically saying that school will be well known because of success in a future sporting event."

Ironwood Ridge Junior Merrilee Miller says, "I think the person who posted it should have made it clear it was about sports because with a vague sentence like that it could be turned into so many different things."

That anonymous poster will probably stay anonymous.  But what would students say to him if they could?

Cade Kuglitsch says, "Probably say watch what you say and use the words you think would work best for what you're saying."

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: "Would you really be that polite?"

Kuglitsch : "Probably not because it was pretty scary."

Oro Valley Police say because they have officers in the school full time that helps them know if problems are developing. A lot of cities dropped school resource officers because of tight budgets.  Both police and the Amphi school district say if you learn of something that seems like a threat let them know.

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