Student kicked out of school for Snapchat threat against kids with autism

Updated: May. 16, 2017 at 8:20 PM EDT
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A Salem high school student was removed from the school for making this post on Snapchat....
A Salem high school student was removed from the school for making this post on Snapchat. (Source: WSLM)

. - SALEM, IN (WAVE) - A social media post threatening a school shooting and targeting children with special needs prompted an investigation and the removal of a student from the school.

It all unfolded at Salem High School in Indiana.

Salem Community Schools refused to provide WAVE 3 News with any information about the incident. A high school receptionist said a statement was released by the superintendent, but would only be provided to the city's local media.

>> VIDEO: Watch Katie Bauer's report

Snapchat posts are designed to last 10 seconds or less. But, the one in question lived on after it was screen captured and posted to Facebook. The threatening message shows a female student making a gun hand gesture with the caption, "Ready to shoot up the school – wheres the autistic kids @?."

"My first initial reaction was actually I was terrified, scared, physically shaking and almost in tears," a mother of a 15-year-old child with autism said. Her son attends Salem High School, but she did not want to be identified.

"He called me from school in tears," she said. "It wasn't just a tear here and there, it was full-fledged, blown out crying because of him being scared."

According to the Salem Leader and radio station WSLM, superintendent Dr. Lynn Reed released a statement acknowledging that the post was made by a Salem High School student who was removed from school.

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"When someone's life is involved, it's not funny," parent Daniel Campbell said. "With everything going on anymore, you would think anybody would know that by now."

Campbell has a daughter in the district and a four-year-old son with autism. Campbell and his mother-in-law, Beth Fordyce, attempted to get more information about the threat, but were told at the administration building no one would be able to speak with them.

"It's like they didn't want anybody to know," Campbell said. "Well thanks to social media, Facebook, everybody knows and now they don't want to answer any questions."

Salem Police told WAVE 3 News they provided extra patrols on Tuesday as requested by the school, but they do not believe the post was credible.

"We heard she's removed," Fordyce said. "I'm not sure if she is in the alternative school or removed, because they won't answer the door. That's really the question we had."

According to WSLM, the investigation by high school administrators and Salem police is now complete.

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