Arkansas school district officials and law enforcement agencies across the state are responding to an FBI general awareness statement warning of possible school shootings in Arkansas and Kentucky this coming week; however, authorities say that there is no credible threat at this time.
The FBI said that someone overseas made the threat about school shootings in Arkansas on Thursday, Aug.29, and in Kentucky on Wednesday, Aug. 28. No specific schools were mentioned in either state.
The Arkansas State Police in a statement issued Sunday night said they have "been in close contact in recent days with the Federal Bureau of Investigation attempting to identify the source of an alleged threat of gun violence at an undisclosed Arkansas school reportedly planned for later this week.
"At this time no corroborating evidence or useful details have been uncovered in regard to the information provided to the FBI.
"In the event more specific or credible information is received; it will be shared with local law enforcement offices, state and local school officials, as well as Arkansas citizens.
"The Arkansas State Police asks that if anyone has information about a threat of violence whether the site of the threat may be a school or other public place, please contact your nearest Arkansas State Police Office or local law enforcement agency. A complete listing of state police offices can be found at https://asp.arkansas.gov/divisions/highway-patrol/
"Posts made by multiple school districts and law enforcement say that there is no specific threat to any particular school district."
The Little Rock FBI has contacted each district and agency to be aware, but at this time there is no threat to any school in the state, the agency says.
In a statement released on the district's Facebook page Sunday, Pine Bluff School District Superintendent Jeremy Owoh said:
"We are aware, as many of you are, of the recent report that was received by the Little Rock FBI Office. The District will work with the Pine Bluff Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to address any safety or security concerns that may arise within our District.
"The Little Rock FBI report indicated a possible school shooting may occur in Kentucky and Arkansas during this upcoming week. The reporting party does not live in the United States, and the information that was received has not been confirmed.
"This communication only serves as general awareness to our students, parents, educators, staff, and community members that if you see something or hear something that may cause harm to any of our stakeholders, please let the local police/ sheriff office or school administrators know as soon as possible.
"I do want to be clear that the FBI report did NOT mention Pine Bluff nor our school district as a possible site, but we are going to take additional measures to ensure that our PBSD students and staff are safe. We will ensure that our School Resource Officers and Security team members are alert and ready to assist with any safety issue.
"Our building principals and staff members will ensure that all school members are aware of our safety procedures. Earlier this summer, we started security upgrades in all of our school buildings. We will continue to prioritize education and safety in all of our District’s schools."