Vague Instagram threat puts Pendleton school on alert

(WISH Photo)

PENDLETON, Ind. (WISH) — Police in Madison County say a 13-year-old student made a threat on Instagram that prompted an increased police presence at Pendleton Heights Middle School on Wednesday.

The threat was made Tuesday night on the social media site. Superintendent Joe Buck said the Instagram post made a threat toward “PHMS,” pointing out that those initials could mean a number of places in the country. The school district notified parents Wednesday morning.

Madison County Sheriff Ron Richardson said a 13-year-old student and his parents were interviewed. The student admitted to opening up an Instagram account on April 8.

Sheriff Richardson said the student told investigators that he opened up the account to “use it as a game.” He told authorities he never had any intentions of hurting anyone.

Police say the student was released to the custody of his parents. Charges of misdemeanor intimidation are pending.

Sheriff Richardson said the student, whose name has not been released, has never been in trouble before.

“He made a poor choice,” Richardson said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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