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CHS receives fake threat

Officials: Sender used same account as in February

Posted: May 14, 2018 4:40 p.m.
Updated: May 15, 2018 1:00 a.m.
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Around 8:15 a.m. Monday, Camden High School (CHS) Principal Dan Matthews sent a message via phone and email alerting parents that another fake threat against the school had been posted via Snapchat.

Matthews said administrators became aware of the threat Sunday night and immediately informed the Camden Police Department (CPD) and the school district. Matthews and CPD Chief Joe Floyd indicated the threat came from the same Snapchat account used to make a similar fake threat against CHS in February.

Then, the CPD handled a case where, with assistance from school officials and Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies, officers identified an 11-year-old female 6th grade student as the person behind that threat.

At the time, the Kershaw County School District officials declined to name which school the girl attended, despite the fact that Floyd said doing so would not have interfered with its investigation.

In that incident, the girl allegedly sent a message to various high school students via a fake account identified as NSIMPSON518. One of the students who received the message came forward and directed them to another student who might know the girl. That student produced a photograph they had previously received; a KCSO deputy showed it to a teacher who remembered the girl’s name.

Officers eventually interviewed the girl and petitioned her to family court on a disturbing school charge.

As in February, Matthews indicated in his message Monday morning that students alerted officials to the new threat.

“We appreciate the students who brought this to our attention,” Matthews said. “It is worth noting that this post comes from the same fake account as last time. We do not feel there is any greater risk of harm to our students. Just like last time, Camden police will continue to investigate and when the perpetrator has been caught … we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

Floyd confirmed the threat appeared to be from the same account as in February.

“That’s what it looks like to us,” Floyd said; when asked if there was a chance the same 6th grade girl had made the threat, he added, “That’s part of what we’re trying to run down.”

He noted that one of the problems with online threats is that people can spoof accounts, leaving the possibility open that someone else used the NSIMPSON518 account to make Sunday night’s threat.

Also as in February, Floyd confirmed additional officers were stationed at CHS on Monday, but not as many as in February. That time, the CPD had seven to eight officers stay at the school until the girl was interviewed.

“We did send some officers, but not as many as last time; otherwise, students were having a normal day,” Floyd said.

The chief also alerted the C-I to an earlier incident that took place Friday involving Camden Middle School (CMS). Floyd said someone anonymously called 911 claiming -- falsely, it turned out -- that a specific male student was going to do something that could cause a lockdown at the school, but did not indicate how that would happen.

Floyd said officers located the male student, interviewed him and also checked his phone.

“There was nothing connecting him to making a threat,” he said.

Floyd said dispatchers identified the location from which the 911 call was made.

“They also pulled the recording and determined a child made the call,” Floyd said, who identified the child as female.
He said officers contacted the girl’s parents and determined she was home at the time the call was made.

“The parents had kept her out of school due to some issues at the school,” he said.

Floyd said the case was still being investigated Monday and did not indicate on what charges the girl might be petitioned. He did say that CMS never went into lockdown.

“We hope this doesn’t spark an increase of this behavior as we near the end of the school year,” Floyd added.

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