Canadian teen arrested following threat to Hanover High School

  • Maureen Stannard leaves Hanover High School with her son Owen on March 20, 2018, in Hanover, N.H. A potential social media threat was made to students at the school, prompting many parents to pick up their children early. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

Valley News
Published: 3/21/2018 10:45:20 PM

A 14-year-old girl from Canada has been arrested in connection with social media threats directed at some Hanover High School students on Tuesday, according to police.

The unidentified juvenile has been formally charged by police in Brantford, Ontario, with posting a threat on an Instagram account with the handle “hanoverhighschooting,” Hanover police said in a news release Wednesday.

Hanover police said there is no known connection between the girl and Hanover High School, but that they are still investigating that angle.

Hanover police were working with Canadian authorities to investigate whether the threat was meant for Hanover High School in New Hampshire, among other questions. The account’s handle didn’t specify a state or country, although it followed several accounts belonging to students in this state.

Additionally, police said it “is on our radar” that the girl might have learned of the school by reading an op-ed that ran in The New York Times  on Monday and was written by a Hanover High student.

The op-ed by junior Dakota Hanchett details why he didn’t participate in the school’s recent walkout, which was part of a national campaign to protest gun violence and honor the 17 people who died last month in a Florida school shooting. 

Hanover police said Canadian law enforcement searched a residence in that country and seized the girl’s electronic devices. Those devices are currently being examined by Canadian authorities, according to the news release.

Hanover High School Principal Justin Campbell and Superintendent Jay Badams both issued statements Wednesday morning updating the school community on the investigation’s progress.

“I want you all to know that after speaking with the (police) chief this morning, I feel confident that yesterday’s situation has been resolved. I look forward to a return to normalcy, to reviewing our security protocols in light of this incident,” Campbell wrote in an email to parents.

Juniors were scheduled to take SATs on Thursday at Hanover High; students in all other grades do not have school.

The “hanoverhighschooting” Instagram account, which was active as of Tuesday afternoon, has been deactivated. The profile picture featured an internet stock image of a female holding rifles, her face not visible, and its biography included references to a firearm, but gave no specific day or time for an attack.

It read, in part, “THIS IS FOR WHAT YOU’VE GIVEN ME FOR 2 YEARS STRAIGHT I GIVE NO MERCY IF I SEE YOU YOU GET SHOT. IT HAPPENS SOON ... MAYBE TODAY ... ”

The threat prompted scores of students to leave school early Tuesday, and Hanover police stood guard at the school all day.

Clarification

Hanover police said  it "is on our radar" that a 14-year-old Ontario girl accused of threatening a school shooting at Hanover High School via social media might have learned of the school by reading a New York Times op ed this week that was written by a Hanover High junior. There is no indication that the girl in Canada has any connection to the Hanover student himself. An earlier version of this story was unclear on that point.



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