NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA) — The Natural State is under a warning after an unverified school shooting threat for this week was reported.
The Little Rock office of the FBI sent out a general awareness statement warning schools of the possible danger. But, it says the threat is unsubstantiated.
“It looks like a fabrication, no legitimacy to it whatsoever, but parents don’t know that,” said Rick Shaeffer, the communication director for Springdale Public Schools.
Inside the Springdale School District, 18 school resource officers trained to keep kids safe.
Shaeffer said, “That’s more than any district in the state of Arkansas.”
But, he said there will still be an increased police presence this entire week after the warning of a possible school shooting on Aug. 29.
He said it’s “because the safety of our kids is the most important aspect of the school.”
The district is doing this despite the fact officials say the danger is unsubstantiated, and it could happen anywhere in the Natural State.
“We don’t think it’s a legitimate threat whatsoever but in today’s society, you better be prepared,” Shaeffer said.
While the preventative measures are serious, so are the repercussions of making a threat of this size.
“It could vary from anything from in-school detention to expulsion, depending on how serious it is,” he said.
But, when you’re threatening the safety of an entire state, it goes further than getting in trouble at school.
“They could be charged with terroristic threatening. That’s up to and including felony depending on the severity of it,” said Cpl. Dallas Brashears with the Fayetteville Police Department.
Cpl. Brashears said they have made sure everyone on their team knows what to do if the threat turns into an attack.
“We’ve sent out information police department-wide from all of our patrol officers all the way to our detective divisions, our school resource officers,” he said.
He adds that if any school wants extra security or extra patrols, they’ll get it.
The Fayetteville Police Department will also provide active shooter training to any school or business who requests it.
He said, “We’ve always taken this seriously, and we always will.”
Governor Asa Hutchinson is weighing in on the situation, asking people to trust local law enforcement.
He said, “People should be confident in the security arrangements that they have, and the fact that the FBI did a very good job of checking this out and didn’t substantiate any specific threat to Arkansas schools.”
Shaeffer said, “school safety is important every day and we want parents to know every day when they drop their child off at a Springdale school it’s the safest place they can possibly be.”