ALABAMA (WHNT) — Several schools and law enforcement agencies across North Alabama were thrown into a frenzy early Tuesday morning as calls claimed an active shooter was on school grounds.
However, other reports began to pour in from areas across the country throughout the morning, with more schools getting the same call.
Social media posts referencing the possible prank calls were reported in Montana, New Hampshire and Atlanta.
Mae C. Jemison High in Huntsville, West Morgan High School, Scottsboro High School and Wilson High School were all victims of what authorities are saying is a possible hoax.
You can find the latest information and statements from each school and law enforcement agency regarding the situation below.
Huntsville City Schools
Dear Jemison/McNair families and staff members, out of an abundance of caution, the Jemison/McNair campus has been placed on lockdown. While there do not appear to be any credible reports of any incidents at this time, there is a prominent police presence on campus. Normal operations will resume as quickly as possible. We ask families and visitors to avoid coming to campus at this time. Only authorized staff and law enforcement will be allowed access to our building.Huntsville City Schools
School officials provided the following statement later in the morning:
As a recap, police received a report related to a possible threat at our school. We immediately implemented our safety and security procedures by placing the campus on lockdown as law enforcement conducted a search of the building. Following the lockdown, students and staff evacuated the building to an off-site location nearby as police finalized the search. There were no concerns discovered during the search. Authorities determined the threat did not appear to be credible. JHS/MJHS continues to ask everyone for their support in staying away from campus at this time. HCS is aware a similar threat was made to another school in North Alabama outside our district. We ask families for their support in speaking with their child about the severity of making threats, and we remind everyone about the importance of ensuring children are unable to access any potentially harmful items. We thank the Huntsville Police Department and everyone involved for their fast response and collaboration related to today’s event.Huntsville City Schools
Scottsboro City Schools
Today at approximately 8:50am, Scottsboro Police received an anonymous phone call stating that there was an active shooter at Scottsboro High School. SPD and Scottsboro High School personnel responded immediately, placing the school under a directive to secure. After an extensive search, it was determined that the phone call was a hoax and there was no immediate threat. Multiple school systems across North Alabama received the same call and responded in the same manner. Our students and faculty are safe and secure. Scottsboro Police Department is going to continue to maintain a heavy presence at all Scottsboro City Schools for the remainder of the day.Scottsboro City Schools
Scottsboro Police Department
On [Dec. 13, 2022] at 8:39 a.m., a telephone call was made to the Scottsboro Police Department reporting an active shooter situation at the Scottsboro High School. Officers responded to the High School in accordance with our Active Shooter Response policy. The building was cleared and the threat was found to be not credible. In addition, the Scottsboro Police Department had received information regarding threats made against schools in neighboring counties that were similar in nature. This incident in under ongoing investigation.Scottsboro Police Dept.
Morgan County Sheriff’s Office
Today, a False Shooting Call was phoned into schools in our area, as well as other areas in North Alabama. School Resource Officers have been notified as well as school administrators across all Morgan County Schools. While proven false, each incident is quickly responded to by Law Enforcement and Administrators. At West Morgan, SROs were in the building and quickly determined it was false. The school was placed in a secure perimeter while Trinity Police Department responded and checked the campus. Again, the report was false and originated from an Ohio area code. Excellent work by Morgan County 911, West Morgan SROs, Trinity Police Department and school administrators. While false, all involved responded appropriately to address the alleged threat. All schools continue to operate as normal at this time.Morgan Co. Sheriff’s Office
Lauderdale County Schools
Between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:45 a.m., a call was made to the Florence Police Department in regard to a possible shooting on the campus of Wilson High School. The Lauderdale County Board of Education, Wilson High School, the Lauderdale County Sheriffs, and the Florence Police department executed lockdown procedures immediately. All agencies are currently on campus and checking each individual room. There is no indication of any weapons on campus, guns were NOT fired on campus, and law enforcement will remain at Wilson. All protocols are being followed and an all-call statement will go out shortly. All LC schools are taking appropriate security measures.Lauderdale Co. Schools
Lauderdale School Officials say Wilson Elementary was also affected by the incident but added both schools have been given the all-clear. Parents and guardians were told they could check their children out of school if they wanted.
Making fake threats over the phone, social media, text messages or email are all felonies and carry a penalty of at least 5 years. Swatting can also be prosecuted through federal criminal statutes with even higher sentences.
The FBI Birmingham office provided the following statement:
FBI Birmingham is aware of the numerous swatting incidents wherein a report of an active shooter at a school is made. We are working alongside our law enforcement partners in identifying the source of the hoax threats. Due to the ongoing investigation, we are unable to provide more details. However, it is important to note that law enforcement is going to use all available resources to investigate a school threat until we determine whether it is real or not. Investigating hoax threats drains law enforcement resources and diverts us from responding to an actual crisis. Hoax threats can shut down schools, cause undue stress and fear to the public, and cost taxpayers a lot of money; not to mention ruin the future of those making the hoax threats as they’ll likely have a criminal record, like the student featured in this video: https://www.fbi.gov/video-repository/think-before-you-post-psa.mp4/view. We urge the public to remain vigilant, and report any and all suspicious activity and/or individuals to law enforcement immediately. You can also call 1-800-CALL- FBI to report suspicious activity.Federal Bureau of Investigation, Birmingham Division