PLAISTOW — Police and school officials scrambled to investigate reports of a possible school-shooting threat at Timberlane Regional Middle School Friday morning but quickly determined the threat involved a school in Iowa named Timberline, Superintendent Earl Metzler said.
The rumor created some tense moments for students, parents and officials and prompted an increased police presence, but Metzler said it appears to have been confusion over similar school names that began on social media.
“It was investigated and unsubstantiated pretty quickly,” he said.
The investigation began shortly after 7 a.m. when parents and school officials began hearing about a possible threat being discussed among students on buses.
Metzler said parents began getting text messages from their children reporting talk about a school-shooting threat.
Students were also talking about it when they arrived at school.
Metzler said police were notified.
“The Plaistow Police Department very quickly found that it was unsubstantiated and were able to tie the comments to a Timberline school in Iowa,” Metzler said.
Metzler said efforts were being made to reach the school in Iowa to pass along the information.
A message was also sent to the Timberlane school community to clear up the confusion.
Metzler said that at no time was the safety and security of the middle school compromised.
Some concerned parents still decided to keep their children home.
“At some point you just do whatever you need to do as a parent. They just feel better about it. Those are individual decisions that need to be made by families,” Metzler said.
He commended students and parents who reported the possible threat so it could be investigated.
Metzler said the extra police would remain at the school for some of the day to make students and others feel more comfortable.