Waterloo PD Continue Social Media Threat

WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG)- Three thousand high school students in Waterloo spent the day at home following a social media threat.

East High School in Waterloo on Wednesday. This was one of three Waterloo high schools shut down due to a social media threat.

The message on Snapchat read, in part, "my friend will do West and I will do Expo and we will make history."

Waterloo Police public information office Major Joe Leibold said authorities detained a 15-year-old on a terrorism charge after district parents brought the message to the attention of the district and police Tuesday evening.

But the investigation couldn't be completed in time for the start of school Wednesday. The district decided to cancel classes at three Waterloo High schools--West, East and Expo. East High School was not mentioned in the social media message.

"We're still questioning whether it's one or two people. We want to make sure it's only one person," Leibold said.

Tara Thomas, a spokesperson for the district, said Waterloo schools got a similar social media threat shortly after classes began this fall. But investigators wrapped that case up quickly and determined there was no real threat. School was not cancelled then.

One Waterloo parent, Barb Laws, appreciated the caution in cancelling but wasn't sure there was a real threat.

"I thought it (cancellation) was good at first then I thought it was just some kids trying to get attention," she said.

While high school students stayed home other middle and elementary students went to class.

There was an extra police presence at those Waterloo schools that did open.