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Extra security at Austin middle school after social media threat

School says move was not related to a fight Friday involving two girls.

Posted: Oct 28, 2019 10:56 AM
Updated: Oct 29, 2019 6:18 PM

AUSTIN, Minn. - Students saw extra security Monday at an Austin middle school.

The School District says the extra enforcement at Ellis Middle School is related to a social media threat made over the weekend.  The threat was reported to law enforcement and determined to not be serious.  The District decided to implement increased security at Ellis anyway.

School officials say this action is not related to a fight Friday involving two girls. JR Reyes is the father of one of the alleged victims he says Friday's fight is related to today's threat. 

"It all started on social media last week," Reyes said. "This girl threaten to beat up my daughter on social media," Reyes said. " She said she was going to jump her at school."

The fight took place Friday at Ellis Middle School and was caught on camera. Reyes says the girl lunged at his daughter and tried to choke her. He tells KIMT he hopes to press assault charges and claimed his daughter is being bullied online.

"Then over the weekend the same girl kept threatening my daughter saying she was going to end her life," Reyes said. " Saying her life was over.  My daughter also got snapchat giving her a heads up that a gun was going to be brought to the school. "

The Austin school district released the following statement on the situation:

"Over the weekend the district was made aware of a social media post that contained a threat related to Ellis middle school. The threat was reported to local law enforcement and was investigated. Local Law enforcement found the threat to be unsubstantiated."

"The safety and security of our students and staff is of the utmost importance to the district. Therefore, the district response team was called per district procedure, and it was decided to implement increased security procedures for Ellis Middle School including a single entrance for students where all bags would be checked."

"The threat was not related to a student incident on Friday, October 25th."

Portal Message sent out on October 27th
"Dear Ellis Middle School Families"

"We received a report from social media which contained a generic threat for tomorrow, October 28th. Law enforcement was notified and is working with the district. School district personnel have met and have responded to the situation according to procedure."

"The safety and security of our students and staff is of the utmost importance to the district. Therefore, there will be additional security measures in place at Ellis Middle School tomorrow. The building will open for students at 7:30 AM. All student will enter as normal through Door #1 on the west side. Early Bird Choir will go on as scheduled at 7:00 AM and should enter through door #25. All students entering the building will have their bags checked."

"Classes will proceed as normal with increased supervision throughout the day."

"Jessica Cabeen, Principal"

Reyes says he is disappointed with how the Austin School District is handling this matter and fears for his daughter's safety.

"The Austin School District is being misleading about what happened and aren't taking the threats seriously."

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