WATERTOWN -- Watertown police say a 16-year-old boy has been taken into custody after classes were cancelled at Watertown High School on Monday, February 22nd due to concerns over a social media post.
The Watertown Police Department has referred the juvenile to Jefferson County Human Services and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.
Based on the investigation, it has been determined that there is no active threat of school violence.
This all began when Watertown police were contacted early Monday morning regarding some "concerning" Snapchat messages exchanged between two students of the Watertown Unified School District (WUSD).
Officers investigating the messages noted that a reference was made to a possible act of school violence.
Based on this information, and in the interest of student and staff safety, the Watertown United School District took immediate action and cancelled classes at WHS and the ALC (Alternative Learning Center) for Monday, February 22nd.
Jason Pilarski received a troubling voicemail from school officials just after 7:00 a.m., followed by a call from his two children who were already at the school.
"They started evacuating the students as fast as they could and got them outside. For safety reasons, they were going to be sending everybody home," Pilarski said.
During the course of the initial investigation, Watertown police quickly determined that there was no immediate threat connected to the social media messages.
Pilarski said he learned later what may have sparked the closure.
"From the pictures I`ve seen, there were obviously Snapchats that he was putting out there," Pilarski said.
Police were called by someone who saw the Snapchat messages exchanged between two students. A reference to school violence was made.
Pilarski shared photos that have been circulating among students and parents in the district with FOX6 News. Those photos appear to show several rifles and weapons sprawled out on a floor.
One photo has a caption reading: "Don't come to school tomorrow fam."
"When people must have started responding to him and saying 'hey this isn`t cool,' he must have posted, there was a message at the bottom that they were fake (weapons)," Pilarski said.
Fake or not, school officials weren't taking chances Monday.
"Anything that impacts students' safety, we do take very seriously. We do take the time that was necessary to complete an investigation," Cassandra Schug, superintendent of schools for the Watertown Unified School District said.
Schug said she urges parents to talk with their children about using social media responsibly.
"At the and of the day, if it's written down, it's out there for the world to see," Schug said.
School will be back in session at Watertown High School Tuesday, February 23rd.
All night activities have been cancelled for Monday night.
Monday night's Watertown Series Community Concert location has been moved. The event will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church at 204 North 10th Street in Watertown.
Anyone with information on this or other crimes are encouraged to call the Watertown Police Department at (920) 261-6660 or report it anonymously by texting "WTTN" and your tip to to Tip411 (847411).