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Jackson schools evacuate due to bomb threat; investigation continuing

All Jackson R-2 Schools were dismissed early Friday morning due to a bomb threat targeting Jackson High School posted on Instagram. All students were evacuated safely and no one was injured.
 
The now-deleted post from @oldacct472819374919 said, “I’m Going to Blow Up Jackson High School Today. Y’all Better Be Ready At 7:50 Because I’m Coming In Right When That Bell Rings.”
 
Superintendant John Link said he received a text message at 7:20 a.m. from a grandparent after they were shown the Instagram post, and that high school staff and the Jackson Police Department evacuated all students out of the building by 7:50 a.m.
 
“We take all threats seriously, we will always take threats seriously,” Link said. “Student safety is our number one priority and we will air on the side of safety every time.”
 
7:50 a.m. marks the start of the school day at the high school, so many students had not arrived by the time the evacuation started. Staff members were at the high school parking lots directing students to go back home. Around 1,000 students who were evacuated were taken to the bus loop and transported to the junior high, where they could be reunited with parents or take the bus home.
 
Link said that the decision to close all other schools in the district was an easy one, due to the anticipated snow on Friday. “We had sent out an earlier message to the parents to be prepared for an early release because of the weather, so most of the parents already had a plan intact.”
 
Link added that after the news of the bomb alert spread, some students were already being pulled from the elementary schools by their parents.
 
An investigation into the threat is ongoing, and Jackson police are working with several federal agencies including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
 
Jackson Lieutenant Alex Broch said they currently have some leads and are tracking them down with the federal agencies. The Cash-Book Journal will report any further updates.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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