MEXICO — Classes were canceled at middle and high school in Mexico City on Friday after Snapchat screenshots of a shooting threat spread through the community.
School officials said on Friday that an individual who made the threat had been identified. Mexico’s Department of Public Security confirmed that a minor had been detained but did not provide further details.
“When school resumes on Tuesday, November 1, we are confident that this matter has been resolved and our students and staff can return to school knowing it,” the district posted on Facebook.
The district said it’s not sure the threat is credible, but is treating it as a serious threat.
“Once again, our top priority is the safety of our students and staff, and we appreciate Public Safety’s hard work last night to resolve this issue,” the district said Friday.
A parent of Mexican high school student, Dusty Blue, told KOMU 8 that he has been worried since he first heard about the threats from his daughter and not the school.
“I got a call at 9:05 p.m. from my daughter, she was playing,” Blue said. “She called me frantic, she was literally having a panic attack.”
Blue said she spoke to her daughter’s teacher on the phone, who confirmed the threat.
“I jumped out of bed, still in my pajamas, and rushed to school,” Blue said. “They didn’t let the kids out right away, the cops hadn’t been called.”
He said that at the time, many parents were in the parking lot trying to figure out what was going on. He said questions were circulating such as: “Is there an active shooter? Is this a threat?”
Blue said neither parent knew what was going on for a brief period. Mexico’s public security department posted on Facebook just before 9 p.m. Thursday and said it was aware of Snapchats. At 10:09 p.m., the district announced Friday classes had been canceled out of an abundance of caution.
“Not long [after] they or they [students and teacher] all come out together,” Blue said.
After Blue and his daughter returned home, he said there were lots of posts circulating on Facebook about parents not letting their children go to school on Friday. He asked why the school didn’t contact him the first time.
“Law enforcement already knew about this situation at 8:30 p.m. and my daughter called me at 9:05 p.m. last night,” Blue said.
He said the school had known about the threats for at least 35 minutes and there was no communication between the school and the parents at that time.
“By the time I got to school, the school was already under night watch and closed,” he said.
Blue said he hopes to see more transparency in the community from now on. He said law enforcement and the school did not let them know the suspect had been arrested until Friday.
“Why are we sitting all night worrying about this situation? ” He asked.
Blue said these situations have become too common and too frequent. He said he hopes there will be an active discussion on these serious topics so that change can happen.
KOMU 8 contacted school officials for an interview and did not receive a response. The Mexican Department of Public Security declined to comment further.