Officials at a Maryland high school were alarmed when African-American students began to receive threats on social media apparently from a member of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). But now, police are saying the threats came from another black student at the school.
Students were frightened after receiving a tweet from what appeared to be a KKK Twitter account from a user named “KoolkidsKlanKkk” that warned, “We’re planning to attack tomorrow.”
Arundel High School officials reported the tweets to the Anne Arundel County Police Department and also noted that the language of the tweet was reminiscent of language used on a racial petition signed by “Kool Kids Klan” that had previously been passed around the school.
Police computer teams reportedly tracked the account to a 14-year-old African-American student at the school. The girl was apprehended and slapped with a juvenile citation for disruption of school activities. She was then released into her parents’ custody, according to CBS Baltimore.
After the initial fright, parents expressed gratitude to authorities for identifying the threat so quickly.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent George Arlotto released a statement after the arrest:
I want to thank Police Chief Tim Altomare, State’s Attorney Wes Adams, County Executive Steve Schuh, and their staffs for their thorough and expeditious work to identify a suspect in the online post that threatened violence at Arundel High School this week. The anonymity of the internet provides a murky and complex disguise for many who want to threaten the safety and security of our communities. Our partners in the Police Department and county government peeled back that disguise quickly in this case, in the process reassuring parents, students, and staff that our schools are safe places in which to educate our children.
After the incident was settled, school officials said they discussed a social media policy but decided not to make any changes or announce any new ideas just yet.
“Our teenagers in our society… live on electronic devices,” School system spokesman Bob Mosier said. “That electronic device use has many, many, many positive ramifications to it.”
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