CINCINNATI — A reported social media threat against a Cincinnati high school turned out to be an altered image, according to school officials and police.
The image, sent to WCPO by several viewers, appeared to show a young woman holding a gun with a message referring to Shroder High School in Madisonville. The female is not a Shroder student, according to Principal Larry Williams, and that person did not issue a threat against the school, Williams wrote in a message to parents Monday.
“The image was taken from a social media account, and altered with the threatening message,” Williams said.
Cincinnati police confirm the person in the photo did not make the threat, but the investigation will not end there, according to CPS spokeswoman Lauren Worley.
“Someone still has made a threat,” Worley said. “It’s just not the person that we thought made the threat.”
Williams said the school district contacted police when officials were notified about the suspected threat. The school had extra security on site Monday to “ensure the safety” of students and staff, according to Williams.
“Please be assured that we are taking this matter incredibly seriously, and any individuals found to have responsibility for this threat will face disciplinary action from the school as well as from law enforcement,” Willams wrote.
Regularly scheduled classes were in session Monday.
Whatever the reason for any threat, Worley said school officials and police have to take each one seriously.
“It’s a prank on the person whose image was taken and used for disruption and fear,” she said. “But it’s not a prank in the sense that this is a really serious accusation and whomever’s found guilty of doing it will face serious consequences — if they’re a student at the school as well as from law enforcement.”
Police have not indicated if anyone will be charged in connection to the altered image. Worley said the investigation is an important reminder for all students regarding social media.
“There are dangers when you post images of yourself on social media,” she said. “And this is just one of those incredibly poignant reminders that I’m sure the young lady or her family didn’t even think about.”