School Safety Statement 11.17.19

Late Saturday evening school administration was made aware that a message was received on the Rolla Police Departments social media page regarding a possible school shooting. This threatening incident was alleged to occur on Monday, November 18th at the Rolla Junior High.

The message came from a concerned parent because of a report from their child.  The students were unknown to the persons reporting.

We appreciate the report, as all matters related to school safety is our highest priority.  We appreciate the close working relationship with our law enforcement officials and first responders.

RPD received additional telephone calls from parents whose children had received Snapchat messages regarding the same school shooting planned for Monday.  The message also stated that students should not show up to school.

Law enforcement officials began an investigation immediately late Saturday evening into Sunday and kept school administration informed as the investigation progressed.  

Approximately 10 Snapchat message recipients were interviewed. During the interview process, RPD was able to identify the source of the Snapchat message.

The Snapchat message was sent to additional students in an effort to learn more about its credibility.  According to RPD investigators, the message was passed from student to student, and it resulted in the original social media message sent to RPD as described above.

RPD was able to determine where and with whom the threats originated. RPD conducted an interview.  It was determined that last week during class the threat was made “jokingly” along with a warning of “don’t come to school on Monday the 18th.

It has been determined that no one ever said anything about threatening a school shooting. There is no evidence of a school shooting event at any of the schools in Rolla.

It was determined to be a poorly conceived joke and there was never an intention to alarm students, parents, staff and law enforcement.

We do want to take this opportunity to commend the students and parents for reporting their concern.  They did the right thing.

We do want to take this opportunity to remind our school community that creating a disruption and filing a false report is subject to school disciplinary action and additional legal consequences. 

We do want to take this opportunity to ask parents to talk with their children about school safety.  A safe environment in our schools is the responsibility we all share.  We cannot do it alone.

We do want to take this opportunity to thank our School Resource Officers, The Rolla Police Department ViPS and our additional county and state law enforcement partners for the continued care and diligence in helping maintain a safe place for our students daily. 

Much of our safety work goes on behind the scenes.  Rest assured as (evidenced with this event) there is open communications and a highly coordinated and cooperative relationship.

As a precaution and to further ease concern, there will be additional law enforcement personnel visible on patrol around each campus in the morning.

Welcome to rolla public schools!

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