Social media school ‘threat’ found not to be ‘viable’

A social media post thought to be a possible school threat prompted a response to a Wilton home Tuesday morning, Jan. 15. According to police, the post included a photo of a boy holding what appeared to be a firearm with the caption: Don’t come to school Monday. According to Wilton High School principal Robert O’Donnell, the boy in the photo was wearing a Wilton Warriors shirt.

Information from the New Canaan Police Department and Facebook Law Enforcement Response Team identified a Wilton residential address as the origin of the post.

Police learned of the post at 5:45 a.m. and by 6:30 a.m. had notified Superintendent of Schools Kevin Smith and responded to the Wilton residence. They contacted the residents, none of whom were the boy in the photo. Further investigation revealed the boy did live in Wilton and police arrived at his home around 6:50 a.m. The police report indicates they seized a BB gun depicted in the social media post as well as an Airsoft gun. Police said the boy and his parent cooperated with the investigation and it appears there was no viable threat to the school community or the public.

“At this time the criminal investigation is ongoing, but the [police] Department stresses that there is no active threat to the public or school community,” a press release from police said.

The incident prompted a letter to students, staff and families from O’Donnell.

“While this information may cause some alarm, I want to reassure you that the Wilton Police Department responded immediately and determined that at no time were the safety and well-being of our school community at risk,” he said.

O’Donnell recounted the details of the incident and said the school district will follow its protocols and procedures as it responds to the incident.

“This incident serves as a reminder that all members of our community should remain aware and vigilant in our common effort to promote the safety and security of our community. As part of that effort, we remind all members of our community that if they, ‘see something, [they should] say something.’ Doing so can have a profound positive impact on the lives of all members of our school community,” he said.

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the Wilton Police Department, the New Canaan Police Department, and the Facebook Law Enforcement Response Team for their responsiveness in this matter. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.”