False shooter report sends officers to Maize South High School

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MAIZE, Kan. (KAKE) -

The superintendent of Maize schools says a false report of an active shooter at the district's South High School was triggered by a text between a student and her parents that was shared with another family member. 

USD 266 Superintendent Dr. Chad Higgins released the following statement on Friday:

Dear Maize USD 266 parents and guardians,

I am providing some additional information today regarding the incidents this week at Maize South High School. We recognize that anything that appears to affect school safety and security is a matter of utmost importance that, for many, creates a high amount of anxiety and fear. Despite the fact that there was no credible threat in our district yesterday, there was a report made to police that law enforcement officials responded to, creating a ripple in our district and our community that understandably leaves many with questions and concerns.

In addition to this message, you also may be interested in a statement issued today by the Maize Police Department regarding events at Maize South High School. Please click here to read that. Yesterday’s alarm was falsely triggered by a text between a student and her parent that then was shared with another family member. As such, this adult was able to escalate police response to the school to investigate the student’s information regarding a rumor she had heard. There never was an official report to 911 or law enforcement, nor was the school aware that law enforcement officials were responding until they almost had arrived at the building. This also explains the early conversation members of the media and some community members may have heard on the police scanner regarding an “active shooter at Maize South High School.”

The resource officer (who also is a commissioned Maize Police Officer) stationed at Maize South High School and school administrators, once notified of the report, were able to determine within seconds that the report was false. They were able to discern this quickly because of the time of day and their proximity to the students. Most of the students were in the school hallways and commons areas because of the particular time of the day and school schedule, and the report of a “shooter” incident clearly was inaccurate. Once our School Resource Officer and administrators were able to communicate with police officers arriving at the school, Mr. Dave Hickerson, Maize South High School Principal, convened the student body into the auditorium to inform and reassure them of their safety.

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Officers swarmed a high school in Maize following a report of a possible active shooter that turned out to be false.

Police were called at around 10:45 a.m. Thursday about a possible active shooter at Maize South High School at 3701 North Tyler Road. Police determined a short time later that the report was false.

"...officers determined that police response was initially prompted by a concerned parent who contacted 911 with information that they believed to be true. The information reported was coming from students at Maize South High School and was indicating a possible shooter with the school being placed on lockdown," Maize Police Department said on Facebook.

A teacher told KAKE News that students were taken to the auditorium while police conducted their investigation. Parents said they saw dozens of officers around the school and in the neighborhood.

"A lot of the students were oblivious to what was even going on, so it was a surprise when they saw us respond to this," Police Chief Matt Jensby said.

Classes resumed as normal.

"We have determined that this information originated from rumors being circulated within the student body and although perceived to be real, was not correct information," Maize police said. "This was in no way a hoax or swatting type incident."

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