Social media threat at West Valley High School a hoax

Student causes panic after twisting facts

— Students, staff and parents associated with West Valley High School in Yakima today were in a state of panic and alarm after a social media post was written by a student.

The student in question, whom the sheriff's office is calling "Student A," posted an online message declaring an unknown person(s) was planning on shooting up the high school and freshman campus at an unknown day and time.

Sgt. Brian Jackson said Student A, a 16-year-old male, enrolled at the high school had a conversation on Snapchat with a female graduate of the school. In the conversation, the graduate asked about recent activity at the high school.

"The former student said she had spoken with a different student at the high school, 'Student B'," Jackson said in a press release.

Student B told the graduate he had concerns about the future and safety at the high school.

"Student B never made any threats, only expressed personal fears of something bad happening," Jackson said.

The graduate told Student A about the conversation and said no threats were being made.

Student A, however, notified the sheriff's office of the conversation with the graduate and then posted online to the West Valley School community the threat that caused alarm among the students, staff and parents.

"In the post, Student A stated what he was writing was not a joke," Jackson said.

After investigating the information and speaking with both the graduate and Student B, it was confirmed there was no threat being made.

Because Student A's actions "... caused panic and a great deal of concern to people associated with WVHS," the sheriff's office if referring the case to the Yakima Juvenile Prosecutor's Office.


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