Police cruisers were stationed outside Central High School in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Monday. City officials were concerned about a threat of violence at a school with the same name in another part of the country.
Late last week, the Springfield Police found out about a social media post threatening to "shoot up" Central High School.
It turned out that it came from a student in Missouri, which has a school with the same name.
But the post was shared in the area, and according to Springfield schools spokesperson Azell Cavaan, created significant concern within the community.
"Our fear is that something like this and the response that it garnered may motivate copycats," she said. "We're hoping is that it does not, but the trend has been when something like this occurs that people who actually have no intention of pulling off a threat start to have that kind of behavior or make those kinds of threats."
Springfield Police spokesperson Ryan Walsh said such online activity is taken seriously, especially after the shootings at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.
Based on the intent, Walsh said it could mean "officers go into your home to make sure you don't have access to any firearms. You can end up getting arrested. You can end up getting disciplined at school or having to go deal with it at court."
Walsh said that based on their continuing investigation, the Springfield Police will assess whether an increased presence at the school should continue.
They are still looking into who shared the post locally and their reasons for doing so.