Knox School Superintendent Addresses Threat Rumors

Knox School Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart stresses that students were not in danger Tuesday, in spite of rumors of a threat of violence at Knox Middle School.

Reichhart told the school board that while the rumors turned out to be false, they disrupted the school day and upset parents. “You know, Facebook has all of its good points, and then Facebook has all of its bad points,” he said. “And when misinformation gets posted on Facebook, it hurts everybody and especially us as a school in a crisis – not a crisis today, but a misunderstanding that it didn’t have to get out there like it did. It ended up, we had kids leaving school, and it was just a situation that didn’t have to happen today. Everybody was safe. There was never a threat.”

Knox Police Chief Harold Smith said in a press release that a call came in around 7:30 Tuesday morning, advising police of a social media post suggesting a threat of violence — specifically, that a student on Snap Chat was “planning on entering the school and shooting students and faculty.” After an investigation, police determined that the statements were nothing more than a rumor. However, Smith stresses that police take all threats against schools seriously.

During Tuesday’s school board meeting, Reichhart thanked the police department for the work they do in responding to these types of situations. It was also noted that first responders and school staff from around Starke County are gathering Wednesday for a Starke County Crisis Committee meeting. It’s a chance for them to share ideas that have been working well at various schools and identify areas where more training may be needed.