Teens arrested after social media threat to Parkland school

A threatening social media post heightened security at a Parkland high school Monday as detectives searched for the teenage boy featured in the threat.

Officials at Washington High School became aware of the post about 9 p.m. Sunday and immediately notified the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

The post shows a boy holding what appears to be a handgun with the words, “Don’t come to school tomorrow,” written across the photo.

The 15-year-old did not attend school Monday, but detectives tracked him down just before 1 p.m. and he was arrested. They also questioned a 17-year-old girl believed to have helped spread the post before arresting her.

The two are being held on suspicion of felony harassment, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

School officials sent an email to parents regarding the situation about 11 p.m. Sunday, and another email and automated voice message Monday morning after deciding to place campus on a modified lockdown.

“We did add a number of … measures to ensure the safety of students and staff,” said Willie Painter, spokesman for the Franklin Pierce School District.

Two school resource officers were stationed at the school, and deputies patrolled the area. Exterior campus doors were kept locked, and extra supervision was placed in the school.

Although some parents chose to keep their children home, officials said there were no problems on campus.

“Other than heightened security measures, the school day went as a school day typically goes,” Painter said.

Troyer said Washington High Schools throughout the U.S. went on lockdown or closed because the two were not specific about which Washington High School they were threatening to shoot up.

“It caused a lot of problems, even in other places around the country,” Troyer said.

Staff writer Kenny Ocker contributed to this report.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653