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Nothing found after ‘prank’ threat at Battle High School

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

No actual threat was found Tuesday after someone called in a threat against Battle High School that school officials said was a prank.

A few police units were sent to the school after the call of an active shooter. Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said the two police officers stationed at Battle and school security officials quickly determined that the threat was not credible.

Investigators were working Tuesday morning to determine the source of the call, Baumstark said.

Columbia police say they checked the district's other schools as well and found no threat.

The incident happened shortly after police evacuated a St. Louis high school after someone called reporting a shooting, according to St. Louis TV station FOX 2. Police had "no indication" the threat was credible at St. Mary's High School in south St. Louis.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. Kyle Green said every threat has to be investigated.

"They still have to be taken very seriously," Green said. "It's unfortunate that law enforcement and other resources are wasted during these, when they could be used for other stuff."

"It's unfortunate that people are finding this as an opportunity to either get out of school or to scare people as a retaliation type thing," he said.

While Green wishes these threats would stop, he said it's still better to be safe than sorry.

"If you see or observe something, or hear something that they think is valuable information to law enforcement, and potentially could case harm to the school, the students or the teacher, or anybody involved, you know please let us know," Green said. "We will look into it. But at the same time, we wish these people would stop doing this as well."

Another threat at a Columbia high school had parents concerned last week. A student was detained for allegedly writing a shooting threat on a bathroom stall at Hickman High School. The message was widely shared on social media, heightening the worries of families and students.

The principal and the district superintendent said last week that the threat was not credible.

Anonymous school shooting tips called in to the Courage2Report state hotline have been on the rise this year, with 60 between January and October. The state reported 27 tips in 2021.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia Public Schools
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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.

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Marina Diaz

Marina is a Multimedia Journalist for ABC 17 News, she is originally from Denver, Colorado. She went to Missouri Valley College where she played lacrosse and basketball, and anchored her school’s newscast.

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