Franklin police investigate threats made by FCHS student

For the second time in two months, parents were warned about reported threats at Franklin schools.

The recent threats, like the ones reported in early October, were deemed to be not credible by Franklin police.

Parents criticized a lack of information in statements issued by the Franklin Police Department and Franklin Community Schools. In the wake of a school shooting in Michigan last week, the lack of details in the statements was concerning to them, parents said on social media.

Franklin schools sent an email to parents a little after 5 a.m. on Monday, about four hours after Superintendent David Clendening first heard about the threats at 12:52 a.m., said Robin Betts, a spokesperson for the district.

Clendening got confirmation the incident was not credible at about 2 a.m., and the district felt it was appropriate to release the information at about 5 a.m., similar to the process of informing parents of a school closing or delay due to inclement weather, Betts said.

The district sent the message in an email, but not through the phone notification system that calls and sends text messages to parents.

The message contained all the information the district felt was appropriate to send to parents, as the threat that was investigated was not specific to a person, school or timeframe, Betts said.

“I completely understand their fear and anxiety, especially on the cusp of (the Michigan school shooting). We shared all of the information that be could be shared,” she said. “This threat was not specific. We knew it had appeared on social media so we wanted to share what we did know.”

Franklin police were notified of the threat about 9:34 p.m. Sunday, when a friend of the person who received the threat in a Snapchat message reported it, according to a police report.

Police received screenshots of the messages, which contained multiple death threats against no one in particular, without a timeline to act on the threat or a method in which the threat would be carried out, the report shows.

The messages did not contain threats to the person who received the messages and did not mention any threats to the school. The only connection to Franklin Community High School is that the sender and recipient of the messages are students, police said.

Franklin police have spoken with the teen and determined they do not have access to weapon in the home, according to the report.

The investigation is ongoing, and police have not decided whether to ask the prosecutor’s office to file any charges against the individual who made the threats, said Kirby Cochran, police chief.

Franklin police do not believe students are in any danger, but there will be an increased police presence the next few days at Franklin schools as a precautionary measure, Cochran said.