GRANT, Ala -- There's increased security at the Kate Duncan Smith DAR School in response to an online rumor that has both students and parents concerned, but Marshall County Sheriff's Office investigators say they have not found any evidence of a threat to the school or the students.
An increased number of law enforcement officers monitored the halls Monday morning. Over the weekend some students and parents reached out to Marshall County Schools staff about a post on social media they found to be alarming. “The post was actually a countdown for when the student was actually coming back to school,” said superintendent Cindy Wigley. The Sheriff's Office says the countdown started with the number 11 and decreased each day until a number 1 was posted on Sunday. The student had been out of class for disciplinary action, but federal law prohibits the school system from elaborating.
Wigley said they immediately notified the Marshall County Sheriff's Office as they do with any type of suspected criminal activity or threat. She says school officials have not been able to find the post.
Investigators say they interviewed the student and the father and looked at an electronic device. They say they found nothing related to the reported threatening post and have seen and documented the countdown posts.
Investigators say they also interviewed dozens of other people regarding the posts and only found one person that said they saw the post. That person told deputies the post was up for a short time and it did not name a school or any individual person as a target.
Deputies say at this point in the case, they have not found any evidence of a threat to the school or any of the students, and the Sheriff's Office will continue add additional deputies to the school as the investigation continues. Investigators say they've been in constant contact with the District Attorney’s Office and juvenile authorities during the course of the investigation.
Because officials did not find any evidence of a real threat so far, parents weren't given many details, but Wigley says that would have been different if there was a known danger. "We take every little bit of information of this nature very seriously and any time there is a known threat, we will notify parents immediately," Wigley said.
In the meantime, school administrators asked the parents of the student to keep that child at home while investigators continue to work.
Investigators ask that anyone who has seen the post or has a screenshot of it to contact the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office at 256-582-2034.