After a day-long investigation, Branson Police, Taney County Juvenile Authorities, and Branson School Officials determine there was no credible threat from a social media post that was reported Monday afternoon.
Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews issued the following statement in a press briefing Tuesday:
“December 10th at 3:52pm, the Branson Police Department received a report of a threat made via social media (Instagram), referencing violence at the Branson Junior High School.
The Branson Police Department immediately launched an investigation in coordination with the Taney County Juvenile Office and the Branson School District. The investigation integrated elements from all three agencies and investigators worked through the evening and well into today.
Through the course of the investigation, a Branson Junior High student was identified. The student was interviewed in the presence of a parent, the Juvenile Officer, School District Administration, and Branson Police Detectives.
The juvenile acted alone and had no plan or means to carry out the threat.
The student was released to the Taney County Juvenile Office pending charges.
The Taney County Juvenile Office will ensure the juvenile’s best interest as well as the community’s. The Juvenile Office will provide access to all appropriate agencies to assist the juvenile and family.
The Branson Police Department and the Branson School District want the community and our students to know that we take the safety of everyone in our schools extremely serious.
Any communications, whether written or verbal, that cause others to be in fear, and or threaten the safety of anyone involved in a school activity, will be immediately investigated.
Both the Police Department and the School District understand the pressures of school can be difficult for our students. We need to stress there are multiple resources throughout the community that remain available to assist any students that may need help or someone to talk with.
Branson Police School Resource Officers and the School Counselors are always available and regularly make time to speak with our students.”
Meanwhile, school officials reported a second incident on a Branson School bus Monday afternoon when one student threatened another student over social media. That post apparently led to an altercation where one of the students used pepper spray causing the bus to be evacuated. The school transportation department called 911 and local authorities as well as an ambulance responded. All students on the bus were checked out by the ambulance personnel. It is not known if the two incidents were related.