Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 24, 2013

‘Misunderstanding’ at PVHS

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Mercer County law enforcement said a social media threat made against a local high school was a “whole misunderstanding.”

Sgt. Jose Centeno, with the West Virginia State Police Princeton Detachment, said authorities located the source of the threat against PikeView High School on Monday.

“It started out as a misunderstanding,” Centeno said. “When it reached social media, it reached a panic state.”

Centeno said a high school student misunderstood a classroom discussion on current events.

According to Rick Ball, Mercer County assistant superintendent, the incident occurred in the classroom on Friday. School officials dealt with the student, but the incident appeared on social media on Sunday.

As a precaution, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department searched PikeView Middle School and the West Virginia State Police conducted searches at the high school before school on Monday. Chief Deputy D.B. Bailey of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office said no weapons were found.

More than 300 PikeView Middle School students and 40 percent of students at the high school were absent Monday, according to Ball.

Officers remained at both schools during the day. Centeno said officers routinely patrol area schools and talk to local principals and teachers.

“We like to keep track,” he said.

Ball said officers will also be at the two schools on Tuesday.

— Contact Jamie Parsell at ǰ