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Police arrest Hastings Middle School student in school threat

Hastings police arrested a 14-year-old male Hastings Middle School student Sunday on charges of making threats in a social media group.

The student allegedly sent a threat through Snapchat and was later arrested on felony terroristic threats charges, said Hastings Police Chief Bryan Shafer. Members of the Snapchat group were being interviewed Monday morning and police planned to contact parents of the students in the group afterwards, said Hastings Middle School Principal Steve Kovach.

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“We’re taking it very serious,” Kovach said. “I know that students here at the middle school are sending messages to their parents that they don’t feel safe here, but we wouldn’t have had school if we had any inkling they weren’t safe.”

Shafer confirmed the Snapchat group involved some middle school members, but was uncertain if that was the entire group. He declined to give details about the threatening message, but said that under the arresting charges the threat “doesn’t have to be direct or indirect.”

Hastings Public Schools principals Kovach and Mike Johnson sent an email out to parents and staff Sunday night about the incident and announced the suspected student was in police custody.