An investigation involving a cyber-threat at a Weakley County school has resulted in the arrest of a juvenile suspect on a Threat of Mass Violence charge.
On Monday, Sep. 18, 2023 at approximately 10:15 a.m., the Martin Police Department was notified that information was shown to the staff of Westview High School that contained a threat through a social media post.
According to Assistant Police Chief Phillip Fuqua, officers responded to the school and began an immediate investigation that included multiple officers being posted inside and outside of the facility.
A cyber-investigation was initiated in partnership with Homeland Security and a suspect was identified. Upon completion of these investigations, a juvenile Westview High School student was positively identified. There were no weapons located during the investigation and no imminent threat was present.
As a result of this information, the juvenile was issued a Juvenile Arrest Petition for TCA 39-16-517 Threat of Mass Violence on School Property or School Related Activity. The case will be presented in Weakley County Juvenile Court.
Director of Schools Commends Law Enforcement and School Staff
According to Director of Weakley County Schools Jeff Cupples, a student notified the leadership at Westview High School of a threatening social media post. The Martin Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and other law enforcement agencies immediately launched a full investigation into the incident. Students, faculty, and staff at Westview High followed the protocols and safety measures in place at the school. We were notified Monday evening by law enforcement that an individual had been identified and charged in connection with the post.
“The safety of our schools is the district’s priority,” Cupples said. “We are blessed here in Weakley County to have the most skilled and talented law enforcement teams that can be found anywhere in the country. We are grateful to Chief Don Teal, Assistant Chief Phillip Fuqua, and their team for the quick response and steadfast dedication to ensuring safety in our schools and communities.
“We want to also express gratitude to Westview High Principal Brian Allen and the faculty and staff for following their safety training, and particularly to the student who brought this information to the school administrator’s attention.
“Parents, remember that school safety is everyone’s responsibility. Monitor your child’s online activity, use parental controls whenever possible, and ask your child’s school for help and resources on social media issues,” Cupples said.
Students, parents, and anyone in the community can anonymously report a safety concern 24/7/365 by visiting the website weakleycountyschools-tn.safeschoolsalert.com. The website provides the option to anonymously report via mobile app, text, web, email, or phone.