Social media “prank” sparks false concerns of violence at Fayette County school

Lexington, Ky. – A social media “prank” involving multiple Fayette County students has raised false concerns of violence at one of the district’s schools, leading to potential legal action, according to reporting by the Herald-Leader’s Valerie Honeycutt Spears. The incident, which unfolded on Monday evening, prompted an immediate investigation by the Fayette County Public Schools Police Department.

Upon discovering a social media post circulating among some students that alleged an act of violence at a Fayette school on Wednesday, district officials took swift action. “We take all reports of potential threats against our students, staff, and campuses very seriously,” Superintendent Liggins stated in an email to families. “In collaboration with the Fayette County Public Schools Police Department, we immediately launched an investigation, tracking down the source of the original post and determining that this was a prank.”

While Superintendent Liggins did not disclose the exact number of students involved in sharing the post, he confirmed that students from two schools participated in its dissemination. “Those students were immediately identified, and appropriate disciplinary action was taken,” Liggins emphasized. Additionally, the district is considering pursuing legal consequences for those responsible.

The post in question appeared on various student social media accounts across the district, causing significant concern and prompting a thorough investigation. Superintendent Liggins also noted that a similar post unrelated to any Fayette County campus has emerged in other school communities.

In response to the incident, Acting Winburn Middle School Principal B.J. Martin promptly reassured families that the school had taken necessary precautions. In a message to parents on Tuesday night, Martin stated, “School officials became aware of a social media post circulating among students, claiming that someone was planning an act of violence at school on Wednesday.” Following an assessment by local law enforcement, it was determined that there was no credible threat against Winburn Middle School.

Earlier this year, the Fayette County Board of Education authorized a civil lawsuit against social media companies over alleged damage to the mental health of FCPS students.

Photo: Winburn Middle School (Facilitron)