After a day of frantic social media confusion over what may or may not have happened at Big Sky High School, MCPS Superintendent Mark Thane met with reporters to provide an accurate picture of what happened, and to discuss overall school safety.

“Over the past week, we’ve experienced a variety of concerning events, including some threats and social media postings and graffiti that caused us to bring you here today to better understand what we do in terms of assessing threats, and making sure that we provide a safe and inclusive school environment,” said Thane. “We may have students that verbalize threats that are directed towards certain students or school buildings. We may have anonymous graffiti that appears on walls or in restrooms as has occurred this week.”

Thane also directed comments at social media posts.

Oftentimes, there are also posts on social media that may be threatening towards individuals, towards school buildings, and sometimes we find that those posts are highly inaccurate,” he said. “A couple of relevant examples include there were no active shooters in any of our buildings today, and we did not have any situations where students were barricading in classrooms with furniture against the door, as had been reported on social media.”

Thane said such actions by students can have lifetime consequences.

“I really implore students who may feel for some reason compelled to create rumors of issue threats to contemplate the long term consequences of their actions. In the wake of a tragedy like what happened in Florida, it’s critical for students to understand the negative impact that has on their fellow students as well as the families in the community.”

Thane went on to say that every threat received or perceived is taken seriously, and is examined by school and law enforcement officials.

“My commitment today, is that we as an educational institution will continue to be vigilant, we’ll try to be flexible and nimble as we adapt to the needs of the community and the students and families that we serve.”

The entire press conference, including the Q&A from reporters is included in the YouTube video above.

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