Updated information about threat message that was shared on social media

Information from KCPS

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office has provided the Knox County Public Schools with an update on their investigation into a social media image that was circulated and reported on Thursday, December 30.

According to their office, the image that contained a snapshot of a conversation discussing a threat was originally posted several months ago and does not involve Knox County or Kentucky.

Deputies conducted over a dozen interviews and coordinated leads with Kentucky State Police and other agencies.  KSP has been able to identify the initial parties involved.  The initial threat is part of a prior investigation.

The individual who is responsible for recirculating the social media post this week has been located in another part of Kentucky and has no connections with Knox County or Knox County Public Schools. Due to the nature of the investigation and the age of those involved no further information is being released by the sheriff’s office.

As previously stated, the Knox County Public Schools ask that anytime someone sees or hears a threat being made toward our schools, please notify law enforcement immediately.  Using social media to share the information does not assist law enforcement in their investigation.

Sheriff Mike Smith and his staff shared the same message to the school community:

While we understand and relate to the genuine concerns of parents, students and community leaders and appreciate those concerns, and we recognize the vital role the community plays in the ability of law enforcement to be effective we do ask the following:

1. Anytime a threat is perceived, seen, received, communicated or identified we ask that you immediately notify your local law enforcement.
2. Monitor the social media and internet activity of your children.
3. Responsibly use social media.
4. Teach and encourage children about safe internet usage.
5. Never share or circulate any perceived threat.

Please take notice that spreading information resulting in police action or panic can result in criminal charges.

Last update:  January 1, 2022 at 4:00 pm.

Original Statement 

Knox County Public Schools were notified on Thursday morning, December 30, of an image being circulated on social media of a threat possibly made towards one of our schools.  As soon as our administrators were made aware of the image, our school resource officers were contacted and provided the information.

As of Thursday evening at 8:00 pm, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office is continuing the investigation.

KCPS and the sheriff’s office ask that individuals please stop sharing unverified information on social media.  As the day has progressed, multiple manipulated copies of the message have been shared.  To assist the sheriff’s office in their investigation, we ask that no additional sharing of this threat be made.

Any time that our students, families, and community hear or see a threat being made toward our school system, please notify law enforcement immediately.  Using social media to share the information does not assist law enforcement in their investigation.

KCPS and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office will provide additional updates on this threat.

Last update:  December 30, 2021 at 8:18 pm.