Some Derby parents keep their students at home due to school threat

Derby High School - file
Derby High School

DERBY, Kansas – Some parents have chosen to keep their kids at home after police uncovered a threat late Tuesday afternoon.

The school district alerted parents to the threat of someone posting online there would be a shooting at Derby High School.

The school is giving excused absences for anyone who decided to stay home.

Other parents say, it’s likely not a big deal, so the kids are going to school.

But make no mistake, after the internet threat saying there will be a shooting at Derby High, everyone is taking this seriously.

Extra security at DHS
Extra officers patrolling at DHS

“It’s kind of scary,” said Derby High student Samantha Matthews. “I don’t know. I wouldn’t want to go and have to worry if someone was going to reach into their backpack and (wonder) what are you doing?”

At least 50 students took the day off and stayed home. An email that went out to parents Tuesday night, saying there was a very specific internet posting threatening a shooting at Derby High.

As police investigate the threat, they brought in extra security at Derby High, in addition to the two school police officers, they’ve added patrol officers as well.

The posting came from a gaming website, and the threat was up a couple of days before someone reported it to police around 4:00 p.m Tuesday afternoon.

Cops called the school right away and the school let parents know.

“We understand some parents may opt to keep their kids at home, what we are seeing attendance-wise today is we are seeing about 50 more students absent than our regular average attendance,” said assistant superintendent Heather Bohaty.

While some parents told their kids to stay home, other parents say they made the call to send their kids to school, considering cops brought in extra security.

“I talked with my husband about it, and we felt like maybe today would be the safest day to go, then, if there was high security,” said parent Jatena Leon.

Parents and kids KSN talked to say there were extra police officers walking the halls of Derby High Wednesday.

Investigators said there was not a time given as to when the school shooting might happen, but they will keep extra security at school for now, while they get help from federal investigators, in tracking down the person who made that anonymous posting, on a gaming website.

The following was placed on the Derby Public Schools Facebook site.

Threat at Derby High School:

We were notified by the Derby Police Department late this afternoon of an internet posting claiming there will be a shooting at Derby High School. The comment was posted on March 27 on a gaming site. There was NOT a date identified on the posting of when this would occur. Based where the posting was observed the Derby Police Department has involved other agencies. We will have school at Derby High School tomorrow, Wednesday, April 1.
We are working with the Derby Police Department to ensure a safe school environment for our students and staff. We will have extra law enforcement on hand at DHS. The Derby Police Department is and will continue to investigate with other agencies. We take any threat, with intentions or not seriously. If there are significant future developments, we’ll keep you informed.”

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