Merrill Police officers responded to Merrill High School at 12:15 p.m. Friday, after they were made aware of a potential threat made on social media and traced to a student at the school.
“We received a tip provided by a watchdog group who watches social media for reasons for concern such as threats,” Merrill Police Captain Corey Bennett said. “They flagged and reported a potential threat to us. The threat was not specific in any way. The threat mentioned a school, but no specific school or person. We immediately conducted an investigation and quickly determined the account holder where the threat originated. The individual was located and isolated and deemed not to be carrying any weapons consistent with the threat.”
Bennett said the incident currently remains under investigation. The individual is a juvenile and a student at MHS.
Classes at the high school were placed on hold during the police presence, noted Merrill Area Public Schools Superintendent John Sample.
“Local law enforcement contacted us to inform us of an unsubstantiated threat at the high school,” Sample said. “Classes were placed on hold which entails students staying in class and not proceeding to their next class per their schedule. The high school was not locked down.”
Normal activity at the high school resumed around 1:15 p.m.
The Merrill police response included the entire day shift and School Resource Officer. They were later joined by Bennett, investigators and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
“Merrill Area Public Schools thanks the Merrill Police Department and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for their actions in keeping students and staff safe,” Sample said. “Safety is our number one priority and our students remained safe throughout the entire process.”