Threat in New Mexico prompts closure of Clayton High School

Clayton High School. Credit: KMOV

Clayton High School was closed today due to a threat from out of town on Snapchat that said "do not come to school today."

The Snapchat was posted by a student at Clovis High School in New Mexico.

District officials said they became aware of the threat shortly after 2 a.m. Monday. Since little information is known about the threat, the district decided to close the school for the day to be safe.

A spokesperson for the district said it is believed that this threat was specific to Clayton High School because the school's initials were referenced in the threat and that there was no reason to close any other schools in the district today.

District officials said they are working with Clayton police.

Clayton is among at least 12 districts to deal with the threat that has been re=posted in recent days.

The school district sent the following letter to parents:

Dear Clayton Families,

Early this morning the District made the difficult decision to cancel classes at Clayton High School based on a Snapchat post that indicated a threat to CHS for today. This decision was based on information we, and the Clayton Police Department, received early this morning. We have since determined that the post was not a direct threat to our high school. The original Snapchat post, which showed an image of a person with a gun and referenced “CHS,” was made last week by a 17-year-old Clovis High School (CHS) student in New Mexico. A number of school districts across the country with high schools identified as “CHS” have been addressing this same issue this morning. While we are still investigating why one of our students would choose to repost that image, our partners at the Clayton Police Department have assured us there was never a direct threat to Clayton High School.

The Clayton Police Department made us aware of the post around 2:30 a.m. today. A few hours later, at the time we needed to make the decision to close school, we still believed this post to be a direct threat to Clayton High School. Out of an abundance of caution, we closed school, as we will always make decisions to ensure Clayton High School continues to be a safe place to learn and work. We also had officers from the Clayton Police Department at each of our other schools to increase our level of security today.

We learned about this alleged threat because students and parents brought it to the attention of the Clayton Police Department and District administrators. This incident reinforces the importance of how we are all partners in keeping our learning community safe. However, if you see or hear something concerning, you should always share that concern with the police or a District administrator as opposed to posting the concern to social media.

Thank you for your understanding as we worked through this developing situation today. Even with limited information, we will always do everything we can to keep our students and staff safe.

Sincerely,Sean Doherty, Ed.D.SuperintendentCopyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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