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Extra law enforcement presence Monday at Palm Beach Central High School due to social media threat

Principal said threat is not credible and is not directed to PBCHS
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Posted at 1:28 PM, Oct 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 17:50:52-04

WELLINGTON, Fla. — The principal of Palm Beach Central High School said there will be an extra law enforcement presence at the school Monday over a social media threat that has been circulating recently.

On Sunday, Principal Darren Edgecomb emailed parents, guardians and staff of the school, saying he had received several tips that a message circulating on social media is a threat against his school.

However, Edgecomb clarifies the threat is a general one that mentions "Central High School" — not Palm Beach Central High School.

He said police have no reason to believe the threat is credible or applies to his school.

However, there will be an extra law enforcement presence on the campus Monday to "ease concerns and maintain security."

The threat also prompted a response in St. Lucie County.

"Detectives have researched this social media post and found it to have been sent to numerous communities around the state and nation," St. Lucie County Chief Deputy Brian Hester said in a post on social media. "We have found no credible connection to St. Lucie county or to our Central High School."

It turns out the threat originated in St. Joseph, Missouri, where police arrested three individuals in connection with starting the viral threat on social media.

Hester said additional sheriff's office personnel will be onsite Monday at Central High School.

"Do I send my child to school or do I keep him home?" asked parent Diana Brennan on Monday morning after she heard about the threats mentioning Palm Beach Central High School.

Social media also named other schools in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach.

A School District of Palm Beach County spokesperson said normal procedures were followed in increasing security, which was also communicated to parents.

"I received a phone call about 5:50 yesterday afternoon, assuring the parents and guardians that there would be extra law enforcement at the school today to protect our children and keep them safe," Brennan said.

By Monday morning, parents had been told three arrests were made in Missouri for the generic type threats, and another report of a threat had surfaced.

Brennan said she was shocked at what she saw at school.

"I went and buzzed the office, walked right in without precaution, and asked what the plan is. Where are the police? And they couldn’t give me an answer. And so when I started asking, I said, I want my child to be picked up," Brennan said.

The threats turned out to be only threats and nothing serious happened at any schools.