Police find no threat at Thorsby School despite Facebook firestorm (updated)

Published 9:20 am Thursday, September 18, 2014

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Officials determined there’s no threat to students at Thorsby School after two days worth of investigation.

Thorsby Police Chief Rodney Barnett said a student who allegedly wrote a threatening post on Facebook was interviewed and some of his belongings searched, but there was no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing.

“There just wasn’t anything there,” Barnett said.

The student may have been angry with some classmates, and posted a vague threat on Facebook that something would happen on Thursday.

The student was suspended before Thursday, and Thorsby Police searched the school Wednesday to make sure there was no danger.

“I went home (Wednesday night) and did not feel like the school was under any imminent threat,” Barnett said. “Then, last night, someone called and wanted to know about a bomb, and this morning, I hear it’s all over Facebook that parents aren’t sending their kids to school. I pull up at the school at 6:50 (a.m.) and hear from two parents–they’re really concerned about it.”

Barnett said officers continued their investigation Thursday, interviewing students and school staff, and eventually determined that the fear resulted from a subsequent Facebook post made by a different student. Basically, the post was about what the student “hoped” would not happen, but the story was stretched as it passed from person to person.

“The rest is history,” Barnett said. “It’s all rumors on Facebook. Not one kid or one parent showed me evidence that this kid has broken the law. We even went to his house and looked at his computer [Thursday] morning, and we didn’t see anything alarming.”

Still, many parents of Thorsby students didn’t send their children to school on Thursday, or checked them out early.

“There was no safety issue,” Barnett said. “I’m thankful it ended the way it has.”