PLEASANT HILL, Iowa — The Pleasant Hill Police Department says there was no validity to a reported threat at Southeast Polk High School on Tuesday.
The perceived threat spread on social media and led to erroneous claims of weapons being found in the high school parking lot. Police say the rumors and misinformation created unnecessary panic for parents.
The district’s junior high and high school leadership sent an email to families Tuesday morning that said in part:
“Although the alleged threat has been investigated and found as not credible, it has lead to rumors and misinformation. Because of this, we have increased police presence on campus.”
The Pleasant Hill Police Department deployed five officers to the Southeast Polk school complex on Tuesday. The school day proceeded with no incidents or arrests.
Even with the increased presence, some students still didn’t feel safe. A teacher told WHO 13 News that attendance significantly decreased in the afternoon, and some students didn’t come to school at all due to what they saw on social media.
“The threats kind of scared me a little bit. Just not making me want to go and just all the stuff that could happen or what has happened in the past at other schools in wherever part of the country. Stuff like this has happened and it’s ended in much worse ways,” said Southeast Polk student Ethan Ollom.
Other parents told WHO 13 News their kids were in school on Tuesday and felt safe.
The Pleasant Hill Police Department said it is continuing to investigate the matter and will continue to provide increased police resources as deemed necessary at the school.