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HEBRON — A threat that caused Hebron High School to go on lockdown Wednesday morning has been found to be unsubstantiated.

Police Chief Joshua Noel said his department received a call about 8:45 a.m. Wednesday that a student had overheard people were going to "shoot up the school."

Nathan Kleefisch, superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of Boone Township, said in a written statement that the threat was made against the high school this past weekend and that a discussion of the threat between two high school students was overheard by a teacher Wednesday morning.

"After a thorough investigation involving several students, it was determined that the threat was unfounded and stemmed from a previous classroom discussion regarding the recent school shooting in Florida," Kleefisch said. "At no time were students or staff at risk of being harmed."

Noel said his department responded and the school was put on lockdown. After police and school officials spoke to the student, the student admitted he had embellished the statement in order to participate in the classroom discussion. Noel said the comment was determined to be based on false information.

Noel said he and school officials spoke with the student body afterward and encouraged them to keep their eyes and ears open.

Kleefisch said they met with students and staff in the auditorium to assure them they were safe.

"In addition, I asked all of the students to seriously think about everything they say or place on social media as the schools take all threats to harm anyone very seriously and that the police and school administration will investigate every threat thoroughly," Kleefisch said, adding he encouraged students to report any threat.

"If anything, this was a pretty good drill for us. I was very pleased with the police response to the matter," Noel said.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.