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Parents react to school threat made in Ralls County, Missouri

We’re hearing reaction from Ralls County, Missouri parents after a student was arrested following a threat towards Mark Twain Junior-Senior High School.

Tyler Lanier, 17, is in custody for making what they call a credible threat against the school.

“If you see something, say something so we can act on it,” said Ralls County Sheriff Chief Deputy Ronald Haught. “In this specific situation that’s exactly what happened. It went exactly as we planned.”

Haught says several parents reached out to his office Sunday night, regarding concerning Snapchat posts made by Lanier.

“We all live in a crazy time and these kids believe in social media, that’s part of their lives and we need to be vigilant with that as parents,” said Haught. “Another student and parent reported it and we believed it was credible.”

Haught would not comment on what those posts showed.

“I’ll say it’s an actionable item that is more than just words,” said Haught.

However, Haught believed the posts to be a “credible threat” towards the junior/senior high school.

“We think we’re in a small, rural community and guess what, these things do happen,” said Haught.

The Ralls County R-II School District sent an email out to parents around noon on Monday, alerting them to the alleged threat.

“I was kind of surprised to hear about it,” said mom Vicky Kuhlmann.

Kuhlmann says she’s thankful the school sent out the notification but she would have liked to know about it sooner so she could have made the decision on whether to send her daughter to school on Monday.

“We’re not exactly sure what the threat was because the letter wasn’t clear what the threat was but I would’ve sent her to school anyways,” said Kuhlmann. “I would just like to have had the option.

Kuhlmann is also a substitute teacher and after seeing Lanier’s picture she recognized him as someone she taught in class.

“I think I had him in one of my classes and he just seemed quiet,” said Kuhlmann.

Ralls County R-II Superintendent Tara Lewis released a statement to WGEM saying:

“I am very proud of the students and parents who reported suspicious activity through Snapchat posts.  This information was quickly investigated by the Ralls County Sheriff’s Office resulting in an arrest.  We have previously held “See Something, Say Something” campaigns to encourage our students to step forward and report suspicious activity.  This example exhibits the close knit community we have where others work to ensure the safety of loved ones.  Our partnership with the Sheriff’s Department is very valuable and they need accolades for their quick investigation and response.”


Kaylee Pfeiferling

Multimedia Journalist

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