Social media threat that put SC schools on alert isn’t new, sheriff says

CHESTERFIELD, S.C. — A social media threat has put schools, families and law enforcement on alert both locally and across the country over the past 48 hours.

The threat began circulating this week threatening trouble at “CHS.” But there are dozens of schools in our area and even more across the nation with those initials.

In South Carolina, Chesterfield, Central and Cheraw high schools in Chesterfield County all responded by upping security on Thursday.

Channel 9′s Tina Terry learned that the FBI, along with local authorities, is investigating the threat.

When they started to look into it, they learned the post was created years ago.

“Another parent showed it to our group late last night just asking, ‘Are you aware of this?’” said Shelia Allen, a parent concerned by the post. “I was ready to say ‘We’re not going to school tomorrow.’ ... Just to be on the safe side, you know.”

Chesterfield County Sheriff Cambo Streater told Channel 9 the threat originated five years ago on the other side of the country.

“We found that it originated in 2018 in Clovis, New Mexico,” he said. “A 17-year-old kid who went to Clovis High School said ‘If you go to CHS, you’re gonna have a bad day tomorrow.’”

After all that time, the sheriff said the post resurfaced and was shared locally on Snapchat.

“My phone rang all night from parents asking ‘Should I send my kid to school tomorrow?” Streater said.

The county increased patrols at all three of its ‘CHS’ initialed schools as a precaution. At this point, the sheriff says it’s unclear how the threat began to circulate locally.

Other reports online show the same threat recently popped up in states like Oklahoma and Virgina.

An FBI spokesperson told Channel 9 its collaborating with local law enforcement to investigate.

“The FBI is aware of the continued threats being made to schools throughout the area,” they said. “(The FBI) takes these incidents very seriously.”

Sheriff Streater reminded students it is illegal to communicate a threat like the one shared here.

(WATCH BELOW: Active shooter drill highlights needs in Lancaster schools)

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