Police Respond to Threat Amid Tensions at Wheeling Park High School

WHEELING — Extra law enforcement officers were on hand at Wheeling Park High School on Wednesday in response to social media posts suggesting the potential for violence at the school.

Ohio County Schools Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones confirmed extra officers — many of whom also serve as school resource officers — were called to the school as a precaution. Social media postings referenced someone possibly bringing a gun to school, as well as reports of racial tension among students.

One post suggested there are two “teams” at the school — “team hick” and “team black” — and students are being asked to take sides.

Another post from the father of a WPHS student stated he kept his daughter home from school Wednesday because she has been experiencing “a lot of anxiety about the situation.”

Several other parents also said Wednesday that they had pulled their children from school. Jones said extra police presence is often called when high school administrators are busy with other tasks or are out of the building.

“We have a few extra sheriff’s cars out there and I’m here today. The sheriff’s department is investigating and so far we are dealing with it. It is very safe. I feel really good with two resource officers here every day,” Jones said Wednesday.

Jones said the school system uses social media to promote good things.

“The down side of social media is some things can get a little blown out of proportion. There has been no altercation. We are being proactive and are dealing with the kids,” he added.

At the end of the school day Wednesday, Ohio County Schools spokesman Gabe Wells said there were no indications of further problems.