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Weber County high school searched for weapons after text threat

Published December 18, 2012 2:18 pm

No gun found • Officials believe text message warning of a gun at school was a hoax.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Authorities questioned several students, searched a Weber County school Tuesday morning for weapons and temporarily added sheriff's deputies to campus security after a text message circulated claiming that someone was going to bring a gun to class.

Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther said as of Tuesday afternoon that the rumor involving Bonneville High School, which spread rapidly through social media postings, appeared unfounded.

"The Bonneville High School resource officer is aware of the threat and has interviewed several students," Lowther said. "When contacted, not a single student can name a subject who has stated they were bringing a gun to school."

Nonetheless, he added, law enforcement and the school's staff are "committed to maintaining the safety of all children in the schools we service. Any further developments concerning this incident will be evaluated and dealt with in an appropriate manner."

Weber County School District spokesman Nate Taggart also said the gun report appear to be a hoax, and the person or persons responsible for starting it could face criminal charges.

"There's many different varieties to what has been sent," Taggart said. "It only takes a couple of seconds for somebody to write a message, and it's even quicker for somebody to pass it on to their whole contact list. It appears it is a rumor, but we're taking precautions just to make sure our kids are safe."

Taggart said school officials have to take any threat seriously, particularly after last week's elementary school shooting in Connecticut.

He said additional law enforcement officers had been stationed at the school Tuesday as a precaution.

Weber County's threat marked the second apparent text hoax in as many days.

On Monday, authorities responded to Box Elder High School after the sheriff's office received a text warning that a student may have brought a gun to school, KUTV reported.

Authorities later determined there was no basis for that threat.

jstecklein@sltrib.com

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