March 2, 2020
Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School Parents,
I wanted to provide an update regarding the incident that affected our school this morning.
We immediately notified police after becoming aware of a video of a student with what appeared to be a firearm. Raleigh Police were quickly able to locate the person in the video. I want to reassure parents that the student was not on our campus today at any time. Out of an abundance of caution, we also had law enforcement on campus to ensure the safety of our students.
In working with Raleigh Police, we have learned the student did not make any threats against our school. Police have also determined the firearm displayed in the video was a BB gun.
We take student safety extremely seriously. Federal student privacy laws prohibit us from sharing specific information about students, but you can be assured that appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with our district policy is being taken in this matter. While each situation is looked at individually, disciplinary action can include long-term suspension from school and legal prosecution.
Police believe the video this morning was in direct response to unsubstantiated threats circulated on social media over the weekend. To reiterate my message from earlier today, the original social media post that was circulated over the weekend did not mention Southeast Raleigh High School. Instead, the original post was cropped to remove identifying information, and edited to include our school’s name on subsequent versions. From this edit, rumors started to circulate.
Please take this opportunity to talk to your student about not starting or sharing rumors that perpetuate fear among other students. Instead, if your student has information to share about situations that cause them concern, they should contact an administrator or other school staff directly so that we can respond quickly and appropriately to protect their safety. Public safety agencies take all threats very seriously. Students need to know that participating in a hoax threat can result in significant consequences, including criminal prosecution and suspension. Hoax threats put at risk the safety of everyone in our community when they pull critical law enforcement resources away from real emergencies.
Know that we will continue to take every measure to ensure the safety of our students. Students and parents should report any suspicious activity, including information about hoax threats, to school administration or our anonymous tip line, (919) 856-1911.
I appreciate your patience today as we worked through the investigation. Please know that we will continue to take every measure to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
Thank you for your continued support of our school.
Luther Thomas, Interim Principal