Perry Community Upset Over School Threat Investigation
PERRY, Oklahoma - Perry police are investigating a shooting threat against the high school. One student was arrested Tuesday for his comments on social media, but families are not satisfied with the school district's response to the threat.
The school district says it learned about the threat on Monday, but administrators never called police and parents just got an official statement about the threat Wednesday.
On the district Facebook page Wednesday morning, Superintendent Terry McCarty told families that the threat was actually posted last Thursday.
McCarty says when they found out, administrators notified the appropriate outside agencies. Perry police say the school did not call them, however. Instead, the district called DHS, then DHS called the department about the threat.
“That’s their protocol,” said Police Chief Brian Thomas. “Any time an incident happens at the school, schools are required to report the incident, and that was a DHS call, in which DHS called us.”
Detectives interviewed the student Monday evening, and again on Tuesday before arresting him.
Thomas said, “There’s really nothing that says he was going to shoot. He just kind of had a plan and talked to detectives about what he could have done.”
Classmates tell me the suspect is a freshman boy, and parents tell me they are angry they were notified about the investigation days after it started.
“I understand parents’ concerns on this issue,” said Thomas, “because of social media and what’s happening throughout the country with everything that’s going on.”
Perry High School was much quieter than normal Wednesday, with many students choosing to stay home out of a continued fear for their own safety. Others left early, and tell me only about a quarter of their classmates were in attendance, despite a heavy police presence on campus.
“We’re here to protect them,” Thomas said. “The schools are here to protect the kids, so let us do our jobs and if there’s a problem you know we’re going to take care of it.”
Families told News 9 a second student was arrested Tuesday for making threats and actually bringing guns to school, but school administrators and police say that is simply a rumor.
The superintendent has not responded to a request for additional comment. Here is the full statement from the district’s Facebook page: