NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Federal Bureau of Investigationsays it's aware about "swatting" incidents happening on both sides of the state line in several schools.
Swatting is when a fake threat is called in, posted or texted — a hoax the FBI takes very seriously.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says a fake threat of a school shooter was called in on Wednesday at North Kansas City High School.
The threat had dozens of worried parents waiting anxiously for their teenagers to come out, with law enforcement directing them.
“We took it very seriously,” said Sarah Boyd, a spokeswoman with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Melissa Monteleone, a North Kansas City High School parent, said she was relieved with law enforcement's response to the incident.
“I’m glad they took it seriously,” she said.
Monteleone was ready to pick up her daughter from school yesterday.
“What the heck is going on,” she recalled. “The fact that they were running in with assault rifles made it a little more real. My daughter was scared, she didn’t know if it was a drill or if it was real. They were under the desks.”
Boyd said though it was a prank call, the impacts of the possible threat are serious.
“Within five minutes, they could check the whole building and determine there was no threat,” she said.
Similar calls were also made to schools in California, Texas, Wichita and Topeka, pulling law enforcement from real emergencies.
Boyd said the fake phone calls are taking resources away from other calls.
“You drained an incredible amount of resources from the community that day," she said. "You ruined a day of learning, you incited fear that was completely unnecessary and we're going to get justice for that."
A North Kansas City Police Department officer and Clay County deputy went room to room inside the school to put kids at ease.
The FBI is investigating who made them, if found they could face a sentence of up to five years for hoax threats.