Star Valley High School and other Lincoln County School District No. 2 buildings were placed on a precautionary lockout Monday morning after a specific threat was made via social media, the superintendent said.
The lockout was lifted shortly after 10 a.m. after law enforcement found that “no specific threat has been validated and it has been deemed safe to return to normal schedule,” according to the district’s Facebook page.
Superintendent Alan Allred said a student had a seen a screenshot of a Snapchat image that was then posted to Facebook. The image apparently contained a threat to Star Valley High.
“I would consider it more specific than general,” he said. “Enough that with the current climate in this country to be very precautious with all of our kids.”
He said authorities have been unable to retrieve the social media post and have not identified the person who posted it. Allred said the post was made sometime over the weekend but that law enforcement was not notified of its existence until Monday morning.
An official with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office described the lockout as precautionary. The only direct threat was made to the high school, dispatch supervisor Maryanne Christensen said, but the entire western Wyoming school district was locked down.
The Afton Police Department is leading the investigation, but no one with the agency was available to comment Monday morning.
The threat comes amid a spate of similar scares in Wyoming. Last week, Natrona County police officers responded to two schools — the in-use Journey and vacant Grant elementaries — after they received a prank call of a shooter at Grant. The call was determined to have come from the area of Journey in west Casper.
Police later said two second grade students were responsible. Because of their age, the children will not face criminal charges.
The next day, Sublette County law enforcement investigated a threat made against Pinedale Elementary. They determined the caller came from out of state and now believe the threat was intended for a different, non-Wyoming Pinedale Elementary.
On Friday, Poison Spider School in rural Natrona County initiated a precautionary lockout after school district officials here learned of an “unspecified threat toward student safety.” The lockout was lifted after investigators spoke with the juvenile suspected of making the threat.
The threats have come less than two weeks after a gunman walked into his former high school in Parkland, Florida, and killed 17 people with an assault weapon. They’re also part of a broader increase nationwide: The News Journal, from Wilmington, Delaware, reported last week that there have been more than 60 threats against schools made every day since the Feb. 14 massacre. It was about 10 per day previously.