Lawrence middle school student arrested after reportedly threatening school shooting

photo by: Ashley Hocking

Billy Mills Middle School, 2734 Louisiana St., is pictured on Nov. 3, 2018.

Story last updated at 1:43 p.m. Friday

A middle school student was arrested overnight in Lawrence after reportedly threatening a school shooting.

Just before midnight Thursday, Lawrence police received a report that a Billy Mills Middle School student received multiple messages from another student threatening a school shooting, Officer Derrick Smith said Friday morning in an email to media.

Police identified and contacted the student who allegedly made the threats, Smith said. Based on what the department learned in its investigation, that student was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats and taken to the Juvenile Detention Center.

Police have informed school district officials that the student — who allegedly made threats about bringing guns and shooting people on the last day of school — was arrested, district spokeswoman Julie Boyle said in an email Friday morning. She said the school then notified its staff and families about the police matter.

Boyle said school staff would follow up with the student and their parents and “take disciplinary action in accordance with Board Policy.”

Asked whether the report was affecting operations at Billy Mills Middle School Friday morning, Boyle replied: “Anytime a threat is made it affects a school community. Our school staff does a remarkable job of supporting students’ emotional needs and maintaining a school routine conducive to learning.”

Boyle said the district appreciated that the threat was reported to police and that they took “swift action” in investigating it.

She said the district encourages students, parents or others to continue to report any safety concerns to school officials or police.

The Douglas County District Attorney’s Office has requested reports from police and will review them and make a charging decision, trial assistant Dorothy Kliem said, in an email. She said there would not be a court hearing before next week.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd

More recent coverage: Weapons and threats at Lawrence public schools

April 1 — After 2 Lawrence High students shot at park, school district announces plans to study security

March 29 — Teen convicted for stealing gun, providing it to fellow student at LHS

March 12 — District attorney drops criminal charge against Free State student accused of threat

Feb. 27 — Teen sentenced to 6 months of probation in gun exchange at Lawrence High

Feb. 24 — Lawrence High students concerned about communication, leadership after recent gun incidents

Feb. 21 — Lawrence school district to compile, share data gathered from conversation on public safety

Feb. 15 — Taser confiscated from Lawrence High student at school, district says

Feb. 14 — Boy who took gun to LHS this week stole it from parent, charges allege

Feb. 14 — Lawrence middle school student allegedly threatens shooting during bus ride

Feb. 13 — Police, schools investigating Lawrence student’s report of threatening social media post

Feb. 12 — Lawrence school district announces immediate actions to address gun incidents on campus

Feb. 12 — Lawrence High student allegedly brings gun to school; incident is second in a week, fifth in district in past year

Feb. 8 — Criminal charges filed against student who reportedly brought gun to LHS

Feb. 7 — Lawrence High student acted out in class before staff found gun in his bag, school district says

Feb. 6 — LHS student brought gun to school, Lawrence school district tells parents

Feb. 6 — DA drops felony charge against Lawrence sixth-grader accused of school shooting threat


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