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South Sioux City High School

SOUTH SIOUX CITY -- A potential threat made on social media led South Sioux City Community Schools administrators to place the district's high school and middle school on lockout for nearly three hours Wednesday afternoon.

The male South Sioux City High School student who sent the message could face criminal charges, police said late Wednesday. The incident remains under investigation.

Police said the student, who is over age 18, sent a Snapchat message saying "everything's ready for tomorrow" to another student at about 12:30 p.m.

"The kids that read it were concerned what that meant," South Sioux City police Lt. Chris Chernock said.

The students reported the message to school administrators, and school resource officers were notified and began an investigation. The high school and middle school were placed on lockout as a precaution after the district's threat assessment team reviewed the message, superintendent Todd Strom said. The district's six elementary schools were not included in the lockout.

Students were not allowed to leave the buildings, and no one was allowed to enter until police determined the threat was not credible. Students were dismissed from the high school, 3301 G St., and the middle school, which is connected, as usual when the lockout was ended at 3:25 p.m.

The district notified parents and the public and kept them abreast of the situation on its Twitter account, Facebook page and with automated telephone calls.

"We're unfortunately going to gain experience in a situation such as this," Strom said. "For the most part, our communication has been good."

Strom praised the students who reported the message to authorities.

"In this case, a threat was brought forward by a student. We respect that and hope it continues," Strom said. "Ultimately, it's in the hands of the students to maintain a safe environment and respect each other."

Chernock said the student, who was not identified, had been called in sick Wednesday morning and was supposed to be at home. When police visited the student's address, the adults there said they did not know the student. The student who received the message told police the person who sent the message might be living in a mobile home on Gordon Drive in Sioux City.

Sioux City police located the suspect there and took him to the Sioux City Police Department for questioning without incident, Sioux City police Lt. Chris Groves said.

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