FREDERICK COUNTY

Violent Social Media Posts Target Black Students at Maryland School: Authorities

Multiple suspects were identified, and authorities said they “took the proper steps to ensure the school and Middletown community was safe.”

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Social media threats aimed at Black students at a Frederick County middle school prompted a response from the Sheriff’s Office Wednesday, authorities said. 

Frederick County deputies along with school resource officers responded to Middletown Middle School in Middletown, Maryland, at around 9 a.m. for threats posted on Instagram and Snapchat, the sheriff’s office said. 

Frederick County Public Schools determined that a social media post “containing hate speech and the threat of violence toward Black students” had been distributed, the school system said in a tweet.

Authorities said the pictures in question were taken in January or February, shared on social media and featured racist remarks and the suspects with weapons.

Multiple suspects were identified, and the sheriff's office said it “took the proper steps to ensure the school and Middletown community was safe.”

"Furthermore, deputies conducted searches of the involved student’s bedrooms and accounted for all firearms. It was determined that several of the firearms pictured were fake," authorities said. “At this point, the suspects will be treated as juveniles and as such their names and other identifying information will not be released."

An investigation is underway and it is unclear if the suspects will face criminal charges. 

"FCPS has no tolerance for discriminatory language and hate speech," the school district said.

The school was not locked down at any time, according to the sheriff’s office. 

Anyone with information or who received the image directly from a student in the photo is asked to contact FCSO SRO Deputy 1st Class Andy Smothers at 301-600-7138.

This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.

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