MacArthur High School

DECATUR — A juvenile girl was arrested Tuesday on a preliminary charge of disorderly conduct after a social media post threatening the safety of students and teachers at Decatur's MacArthur High School. 

Detective Sgt. David Pruitt with the juvenile division of Decatur Police confirmed the arrest later Tuesday morning and said he understood the girl was a student at the school. 

Pruitt said he had been notified of the threat early Tuesday, before 8 a.m., and he alerted patrol officers who responded to the school and made sure the place was safe. "I also contacted the school liaison officer who has since made the arrest," Pruitt said. 

Pruitt said the threat had initially been made on Snapchat and "then went to Facebook." Pruitt added: "We checked out the school and have also been involved with the parents of the juvenile and made sure there is no threat at that end of things as well."

Asked to describe the nature of the threat, Pruitt said it was "vague" and made to the school in general. "Basically, what it boils down to is sometimes young people get onto social media and want to vent their frustrations with the school and end up saying something they should not say," Pruitt added.

Decatur School District spokeswoman Maria Robertson confirmed that police had checked out the threat and she said it had been determined the threat was not credible. She also made the point that some teens don't realize the ramifications of social media posts. And she said the school staff appreciated the parents who expressed concern.

"The school and district administrators were aware of the threat, and the Decatur Police Department investigated," Robertson said. "All students and staff are safe and school is in session. We do have to take every threat seriously."

Contact Valerie Wells at (217) 421-7982. Follow her on Twitter: @modgirlreporter


Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Herald & Review.

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