Extra security is at Apex High School on Wednesday in response to the latest in a series of copycat hoax threats being made against schools around Wake County.
School officials say extra police were sent to Apex High in response to a school shooting threat posted on a bathroom wall that mentioned 13, a possible reference to Wednesday being Feb. 13. At least four Wake schools have received hoax threats in the past week, including last week at Leesville Road High School, according to Lisa Luten, a Wake County schools spokeswoman.
Before the start of this school year, the FBI teamed up with the Wake County school system and local law enforcement agencies to warn about the consequences of making false threats of school violence. That warning is being reiterated during this series of recent threats.
“While this threat appears to be another hoax threat, we continue to investigate to determine the parties responsible for making the threat,” interim Apex High principal John Williams said in an automated phone message to parents on Wednesday morning. “As with all threats, we will ask law enforcement and the courts to prosecute those responsible for committing this crime.”
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In August, a 16-year-old Rolesville High School student was arrested on a felony charge of calling Wake County 911 and telling dispatchers three times that there was a shooting happening at the school. The threat put the school under a lockdown and delayed bus service for thousands of students at several schools.
Threats have soared in Wake and around the country since the February 2018 mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The one-year anniversary of the Parkland shooting is on Thursday.
In the latest incident, Williams told Apex High parents that last week a student informed school administration of a threat written in pencil on a bathroom wall. He said the threat didn’t include specific information on a location, date or time but did include the number 13..
Williams said that law enforcement was immediately notified as soon as the threat was discovered. Apex High students and staff are spending the school year at Green Level High School in Cary while their campus is rebuilt.
Williams asked parents to talk with their children about the seriousness of making threats and to encourage them to report any suspicious activity to them or to a trusted adult at school.
Students and parents can also report safety concerns to the district’s anonymous tip line, 919-856-1911.