Online threats keep 70 percent of Russellville Middle School students at home
RUSSELLVILLE (KATV) - About 70 percent of the students at Russellville Middle School didn't show up for classes Tuesday, concerned as the investigation into threatening messages continues.
The threats came from an internet site called Ask.FM, which is based out of Latvia. Screen shots of the threats taken by a parent and shown to Channel 7 News mentioned killing students, one going to far as to say, "I am gonna shoot everyone tomorrow."
"I had never heard of the side and I asked my daughter about it and she said a lot of kids use it," said Kathy Mendoza.
While rumors continued to grow, investigators continued looking into who is responsible because they know for a fact there was an immediate threat, according to Russellville PD spokesperson Drew Latch.
Twelve police officers went to the school Monday after the online threats came to light, putting everyone inside the building at risk. Another threat began overnight, forcing a clean sweep of the school. After searching every classroom and locker, officers found nothing.
Still, Mendoza told Channel 7 News she's scared to send her child into possible danger.
"I was pretty shocked because this is a pretty quiet town. it is not a very dangerous town and we moved here for that," said Kathy Mendoza. "It blew my mind. It was just, 'Wow.' My daughter was texting me, 'Mom, come get me.' I couldn't get to her [Monday] and I was really scared."
She wasn't alone. Only a few more than 200 of the student's 800 students showed up for classes Tuesday because of those threats. Superintendent Randall Williams said all of those absences will be excused.
"Every person has to kind of process this in their own mind as to what the level of threat is to their children or children they may know up there," Williams said.
Local investigators said Tuesday evening they were reaching out to federal law enforcement for help.