Two local schools closed after bomb threat made on Instagram

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by KMOV.com Staff and Emily Rau / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on April 19, 2013 at 6:26 AM

Updated Friday, Apr 19 at 6:52 PM

(KMOV.com) -- Two Catholic schools in St. Charles County called off classes Friday after a threat was made on a popular social media site.

Archdiocese of St. Louis officials said they learned of a bomb threat made on the social media site Instagram late Thursday evening.

According to officials, the threat indicated the suspect was going to “blow up” Assumption in O’Fallon, Mo. and Immaculate Conception in Dardenne Prairie. The threat also named Fort Zumwalt West Middle School, but superintendent Dr. Bernard DuBray said police advised him the threat was not serious.

"They told me that it was not a credible threat, and that they were not advising us to lock down or not have school or anything like that," said DuBray.

The Archdiocese said they notified local authorities immediately after being alerted by the parents of a student whose Instagram account had possibly been hacked.

Officials with the Archdiocese said the situation is under control, but both schools were closed as a safety precaution.

"I learned that Immaculate Consumption and Assumption had shut down for the day, which is directed by Archdiocese, which surprised me because I knew what that would do with the parents...they would wonder why we weren't shut down," said DuBray.

Police spokeswoman Jill Buehrle said authorities do not believe the threat was credible. Still, there was an increased police presence at Fort Zumwalt West Middle School on Friday.

O’Fallon police said authorities were tracing the source of the threat and were using bomb-sniffing dogs from Lambert Airport at all schools.

According to DuBray, attendance at Fort Zumwalt West was down about 20 percent – or nearly 400 students – Friday.

Police said they have no suspects in this case, and that tracking online and social media threats can be difficult.

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