Hoax shooting calls lead to increased focus on school safety

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 4:52 PM EST
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FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - Throughout West Virginia several counties received calls that there was an active shooter on school grounds on Wednesday.

The calls were fake, but Marion County schools were quick to respond to the threat.

Donna Heston is the superintendent of Marion County schools.

She said it’s an emotional and stressful time for the students, parents, and staff.

However, she’s extremely proud of how they responded to the threat.

“At that moment when things like that happen many people don’t think about themselves, and they don’t think of their families, but they think about their students in front of them and the safety and security of their schools. That’s a very selfless act, and I’m very proud of how Marion County schools responded.”

Heston said they’re looking at their strengths and weaknesses for the possibility of this happening again.

she said they’re focusing on communication with parents the most.

“Homeland Security is for ways that Marion County can strengthen our communication messaging and eliminate some of those distracters of misinformation and get our message out swiftly.”

Heston said in July they started a collaborative effort with Marion County Homeland Security and the Sheriff’s Department.

She said they are checking the schools and assessing their strengths and weaknesses.

“As we became aware that it was not a threat to our schools and that all of our students were safe. Those agencies checked our schools throughout the day, and we appreciated that support. That’s a testament to the collaboration that’s going on in Marion County through Homeland Security and Sheriff Riffle. "

Heston said Marion County schools executed the protocols well.