Updated: York teenager released by police as investigation into ‘social media threats’ continues

Library photograph: YorkMix
14 Mar 2019 @ 2.29 pm
| Crime, News

Police have released a teenager who was taken into custody at a York school.

The teenage boy was questioned by officers after they attended Joseph Rowntree School on Wednesday, following a report from a concerned parent that a pupil had made threats on social media.

He has been ‘released under investigation’ as police inquiries continue, the force said today (14 March).

From March 13, 2019 @ 9.30 am

Updated: York teenager in police custody following ‘social media threats’

A teenage boy is in police custody today (13 March) as part of an investigation into threats made on social media.

Officers, some armed, were called to Joseph Rowntree School at 7am following reports “from a concerned parent that a pupil had made threats on social media”.

A North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said:

  • To reassure parents following a number of rumours on social media, there was no one with a gun or any other weapon and no one has been injured.

    At around 9.30am today the police took a teenage boy into custody after they received information that threats had been on social media.

    We realise the sight of police officers at the school caused concern.

    However we hope parents are reassured that we take all such allegations seriously and worked with the school to minimise disruption and ensure the safety of all pupils.

She said a full investigation into the allegations to determine who was responsible, adding: “In the meantime, we ask people not to speculate on social media and allow the investigation to take its course.”

‘Our students are safe’

Joseph Rowntree School
The school has issued a statement after the incident. It says:

  • Joseph Rowntree School takes the safety of its pupils very seriously.

    Following posts which appeared overnight on social media the school worked with the police to ensure that they had a presence at the school first thing this morning to reassure parents and students.

    We can assure the local community that the school is open, our students are safe and we continue to work with the police to ensure that that all potential threats are looked into fully in the appropriate way.

Headteacher Lynne Hardcastle told Minster FM that the police presence this morning was “simply to assure parents, students and staff that nothing untoward was going to happen.

“Obviously it’s concerning for them to see police vehicles outside the school and a small number of police officers within the school.

“But the vast majority of them dealt with that very calmly, sensibly and maturely, and so did a number of parents.

“They’d seen things and were ringing children or contacting the school. But parents trust us.

“And they continue to trust us that we were acting in the best interests of their children, that their safety was paramount as it is every day.”

City of York Council’s assistant director, education and skills Maxine Squire said: “We would like to reassure parents and pupils that the threats made on social media about Joseph Rowntree school have been looked into thoroughly.

“The safety of pupils and staff is a priority and we are working with the school and police to provide ongoing support.”

Earlier the school sent a message to parents to reassure sure them.

It read: “We are aware of the rumours on social media, please rest assured school is open and safe as usual.”

A letter about the incident from the school is being sent to parents tonight.