Online threat detected by schools cyber security system

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A student at Cabell-Midland High School is the target of an investigation into an alleged threat of violence against the school or students and staff at the school. The incident was detected and the student detained by police on Sunday.

The alert came from a cyber-security measure embedded within the county school system’s on-line network.

“We have a system that allows us to monitor things that happen within our network, so the devices and connections that our students and teachers use in terms of interaction at school. We’re able to keep tabs on the content for when we see these types of red flags in terms of the language a person would use,” said Cabell County Schools Spokesperson Ashley Stephens.

The system monitors school issued electronic devices and flags certain words which might raise concerns and warrant a closer look. The system was what led to the weekend actions involving a student from Cabell Midland. Stephens could not say the age or grade of the student or what the nature of the alleged threat might have been.

“I can’t comment on that because it’s part of an ongoing investigation,” she explained.

She said it was not a full time monitoring system, but it enabled school officials to run automated systems which flag words or phrases of concern. Stephens said to her knowledge it was the first time a threat was detected using the cyber security system.

“We always take threats to our students or staff very seriously, so had there been a similar threat there would have been a response in the same way, but in my tenure here I haven’t known of one that elevated to this level,” she explained.

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