District Informs Community of Social Media Threat

Shaker Heights, Garfield Heights and “several other area schools” have received social media threats, police departments currently investigating


This message posted on shaker.org was also sent district-wide in a robo-call.

UPDATED 12:14 p.m.

UPDATED 11:43 a.m.

A robo-call informing the community of a social media threat to the high school was issued within the last hour.

“The Garfield Heights Police Department is investigating a threat posted on social media against Shaker Heights High School and several other area schools,” the call stated. “The Shaker Heights Police Department is providing assistance as needed. The district remains in contact with police to determine the nature and origin of the threat. There are no classes today because of the Rosh Hashanah holiday. We will keep you informed of the status of the investigation.”

The robo-call text is also posted at shaker.org. Shaker schools are closed today in observance of Rosh Hashanah. 

As of 11:45 a.m. Shaker and Garfield Heights are the only districts to have information posted. Garfield’s address mentions how the threat was discovered.

“A local news station received information regarding a potential threat to area high schools and passed this information to local police,” it states.

Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations Scott Stephens would not comment further.

“Our only comment is what is on the website,” he said. “This is something you just don’t want to speculate on, and that is literally all we know.”

Stephens said that the Garfield Heights Police Department is leading the investigation and that the district is getting information directly from the Shaker Heights Police Department.

In the past, the high school has worked in partnership with the SHPD to investigate social media threats. Last year on Oct. 7 at 12:12 a.m. an anonymous Instagram user posted a message saying, “I am coming with a rifle then I will blow the b—- up.”

The high school worked with SHPD to determine these threats to be false.

First period that day, Interim Principal James Reed III sent a staff email saying, “We and the SHPD are aware of the threat made on [I]nstagram. The police are investigating. School is proceeding as normal today. If you wish to excuse your child today it will be an excused absence.”

Following that, he sent a community-wide email and phone message saying, “There are a number of rumors circulating today regarding the high school, none of which are true. The police and school security are investigating the situation, and there is no need for parents to pick up their students.”

However, by fourth period that day, classrooms and hallways were sparsely populated because hundreds of students left the building, citing the threat when signing out.

The Shakerite is currently pursuing comment from the Shaker Heights Police Department.
The Shakerite is following this story as it develops

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