Ponchatoula adds security today due to threatening messages

Ponchatoula adds security today due to threatening messages

POSTED: Monday, March 12, 2012 - 12:30pm

UPDATED: Monday, March 12, 2012 - 12:34pm

Officials in Ponchatoula said on Sunday evening they were aware of safety concerns among parents and students at a local high school and added security on campus Monday as a result.

Police Chief Bry Layrisson said the city police department was contacted by numerous parents who have heard that some students were planning a violent act -- possibly a shooting --- at Ponchatoula High School. The threat was allegedly circulating via Facebook.

Layrisson said a person of interest has been identified and his department has shared information with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office, which would have primary jurisdiction at the school. He also said there would be additional officers on campus and that interviews with students were planned.

Ponchatoula High School Principal Danny Strickland said he wasn't sure how all the rumors got started with the alleged plot, but stated that the school was safe.

"We've been chasing those rumors since Friday afternoon, but we've found that they are rumors," he said. "We've found no proof that anything was ever planned to happen today at Ponchatoula School."

Share Strickland said deputies were at the school as a precaution, and the school has spoken to parents of students involved in the rumor mill.

Strickland said classes were not canceled.

"The school is safe. We're having a regular, normal day here at Ponchatoula High School. Students should be in school today," Strickland said.

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