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Texas High School Student Investigated For “Kill List”

A handwritten note listed more than a dozen students and a handful of school employees in DeSoto, Texas as targets.

DeSoto, Texas police and district school officials are investigating a student who left a threatening message in a high school bathroom that included a “kill list.”

A photo being shared widely by DeSoto High School students and parents showed a note bearing a threat to shoot up the school for “payback.” Written on toilet paper, the note included the names of 18 students as targets. Five school employees were also identified on the target list.

Interviews led investigators to the student who was allegedly involved. Interviews were conducted through investigating social media and campus surveillance, said DeSoto ISD spokeswoman Tiffanie Blackmon-Jones.

Blackmon-Jones said that even though the district has identified the source of the social media post that originally shared the photo, “out of an abundance of caution, we’re continuing to stay on alert.”

District officials said any student found making a threat could face both disciplinary action at school and criminal charges depending on what the investigation finds.

Blackmon-Jones said the district worked with police to immediately address safety concerns on campus with increased security and more frequent patrols. DeSoto High already has metal detectors, bag searches and other measures in place on a regular basis.

The photo surfaced on Tuesday. The note references a “shoot up” at the school Friday morning but lists the date as “12/16/19.”

A handful of parents said they were considering keeping their children home on Friday and Monday as a precaution, who also said they weren’t sure if it’s real or not. “How do we know anymore?”

Threats of violence in school are not infrequent on social media. In April 2018, DeSoto’s high school and middle schools were on lockdown when a threat surfaced on Twitter.

Blackmon-Jones said each threat must be taken seriously and investigated. She added that officials were offering the students and employees identified on the threat additional support if needed, such as counseling.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is the Publisher of Security Today magazine.