The Free Press

MANKATO — An alleged threat on social media led some West High School students to stay home with excused absences Friday.

Principal Sherri Blasing addressed the issues in an email to families Friday morning, stating a social media post circulating Thursday morning and evening caused anxiety among students and parents.

“The safety and security of our students is our top priority,” she stated. “We also understand that this post is causing anxiety for some parents and students. If your child is uncomfortable coming to school, please call the office to have them excused.”

The concerning post, reportedly on Snapchat, stated “watch out kato we will be back tmr” followed by a gun emoji. The student accused of making the post has been identified as part of an ongoing investigation, said Stacy Wells, communications director for Mankato Area Public Schools.

The school district is working with law enforcement for the investigation, said Cmdr. Chris Baukol of the Mankato Department of Public Safety.

“We’re trying to do as thorough an investigation as possible to track down any of these perceived threats and whether they’re credible or not,” he said.

A previous email from Blasing to families on Thursday referred to a reported threat made Monday, which she stated ended up not being valid after an investigation. One student reportedly heard another student say something about “shooting up the school,” although the investigation determined no such threat was made.

Rumors again swirled Thursday when students reported another social media post allegedly from the same student accused of making the threat Monday. The allegation accused the student of saying they were “ready to do anything,” but a search on the student’s account determined the post didn’t come from them.

While some students remained home out of caution Thursday and Friday, classes continued without interruptions, Wells said.

The perceived threats come days after a 15-year-old used a gun to kill four students at Oxford High School in Michigan. It was the country’s 28th school shooting in 2021 alone.

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArola

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