School is ‘back to normal’ after web hoax

Montgomery High School, Bispham
Montgomery High School, Bispham

Montgomery High School, which saw its attendance figure plummet to just 20 per cent after an internet hoaxer threatened to carry out a ‘massacre’ there, is back to normal two weeks on.

The Bispham school’s headteacher, Tony Nicholson, said: “Our attendance for Friday was 94.6 per cent, a figure largely in line with expectations at this time of year with colds and winter bugs prevalent.

I commend all concerned in helping us get to this point

“So I do think we have returned to full capacity.

“I commend all concerned in helping us get to this point and most significantly the students and parents.

“It is now time for us to function entirely as normal.

“We are now going to concentrate all our energies on further improving Montgomery School.”

The threats, posted to Facebook, vowed to ‘kill as many people as possible’ and, despite police voicing their confidence they were ‘not credible’, caused panicked parents to keep their youngsters away from school until an arrest was made.

The anonymous poster said the attack would be in revenge for alleged bullying, and in messages praised gun killers in schools in the United States.

When challenged by one student, the hoaxer replied: “You think it’s a joke?

“You’ll see bullets, bodies, and blood.”

The school opened as planned on Monday, January 4, and the day passed without incident as police officers provided a visible presence.

That night a further post on The Gazette’s website by a user claimed they were the person responsible for the claims and apologised.

A 54-year-old man from Blackpool was arrested on suspicion of public nuisance and malicious communications offences.

He was later bailed until Wednesday, April 20.

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