Social media threats of shootings at Chinle schools a hoax


Social media threats of a school shooting in Chinle have been determined to be a hoax, according to a 9 a.m. e-mail to teachers in the Chinle Unified School District.

The determination was made after an investigation by local law enforcement and the FBI, the e-mail stated.

All district schools and offices will remain closed today.

Teachers in the district received an email at 10 p.m. Thursday informing them of the threats and asking them to stay home on Friday.

The district’s website stated “CUSD#24 schools & district offices will be closed on Feb. 23, 2018,” but did not explain why.

A call to the district turned up a recording stating “Extension is not available.”

Navajo Nation Chief of Police Phillip Francisco said Friday morning there had been a rash of such threats to reservation schools since the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people.

“Some of them are probably just rumors, but we are proceeding with caution and investigating all of them,” Francisco said.

A search of the words “Chinle shooting” on Facebook did not turn up any original posts threatening a shooting, but plenty of people were posting about hearing of the threat.

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Categories: News

About Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at