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Platte City Middle School
threat investigated
Police say student
implied threat via social media

by Ivan Foley
Landmark publisher

A student who allegedly made a threat of violence toward other students has been removed from the Platte City Middle School pending an investigation.

At about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Platte City Middle School (PCMS) administration received information pertaining to a student threat toward other middle school students.

Lt. Al Devalkenaere with the Platte City Police Department told The Landmark the threat dealt with images and words sent through the social media application known as Snapchat.

Devalkenaere said the male student felt he had been harassed and teased at school. He allegedly videotaped himself securing a handgun into his pocket and made an implied threat with words accompanying the video, which was sent to multiple recipients.

There were multiple students and at least one adult who received the Snapchat, police said.

The school was notified by a parent and the school notified police, Devalkenaere said. The matter has been turned over to juvenile court authorities, he added.

“The juvenile has been interviewed and the weapon has been secured,” Devalkenaere said.

The handgun belonged to the parent of the juvenile, police said.

According to a bulletin emailed to parents, “PCMS administration responded quickly in accordance with our school safety measures and worked with the Platte City Police Department to conduct a threat assessment, which deemed this threat as credible.”

The school went on to say that “the Platte City Police Department has taken the appropriate action with this student, and this student will not be at school while the investigation is completed and until appropriate school actions have been implemented.”

The school’s emailed notice to parents, which went out at about 6:20 Tuesday evening, added: “Platte County School District takes school safety very seriously. Parents are encouraged to talk with their children about the seriousness of making such threats to the safety of our schools and students, and that such threats have the potential for consequences.

“In addition, school safety is the responsibility of the entire school community. Please follow the principle of ‘see something, say something.’ If anyone (student, parent, staff member, community member) sees or hears anything of concern, please contact the district office at (816) 858-5420 so that those concerns can be investigated,” the school’s notice stated.