In the aftermath of the Florida shootings, no less than eight Arkansas schools in the past eight days have received some type of threats, social media posts, or seen student arrests, and Hope High School joined that number — twice — this week as alleged social media posts sparked concern and police visits.

In the aftermath of the Florida shootings, no less than eight Arkansas schools in the past eight days have received some type of threats, social media posts, or seen student arrests, and Hope High School joined that number — twice — this week as alleged social media posts sparked concern and police visits.
After a number of police cars were seen at Hope High School at approximately 11:32 a.m. Wednesday, the Hope Public School District issued a statement Wednesday evening saying, “that a social media report of a threat against Hope High School is not true.”
The school’s official statement, attributed to Hope High School Principal Bill Hoglund, continued saying “There has been no viable threat to the campus of Hope High School. We have interviewed students to determine if a threat has been made. There has been a social media post that a person on campus has been arrested. That is not true. Mr. Patton, our school resource officers, and I actively investigate any comment or action we believe might jeopardize our students, teachers and staff.”
Wednesday’s police presence — and the observed blocking off of streets — followed up a similar report of an alleged previous “threat” on Tuesday afternoon at approximately 2:34 p.m., happening as the Hope Star was preparing for press on Wednesday’s edition.
When the Hope Star inquired about the alleged Tuesday episode via email after deadline for Wednesday’s edition, Hope Public School District spokesperson Ken McLemore provided a brief, but definite “No” when asked “Would you know anything about that?”
But two sets of concerned parents contacted the Hope Star, one Wednesday night, the other Thursday, saying that both incidents were the result of “rival factions” within the school, and one of those “factions” allegedly placed the post intentionally targeting the other group.
Out of fear of repercussions for themselves and their students, who attend the high school, the parents declined to be identified; one parent did say the alleged “social media post” claimed an individual was seen with a knife, but the same parent did admit “The Hope Police never found a weapon and determined the threat was false.”
For its part, the Hope Star could not locate the alleged “social media post,” nor could any alleged “rival factions” be identified before the Star’s press time Thursday for Friday’s edition.
Throughout Thursday, the Hope School District, nor the Hope Police Dept. issued any other additional statements or arrest statements.  The Hope School Board is scheduled to meet on Monday, February 26 at 5:30 p.m. An agenda provided by the district Wednesday evening did not indicate that anything regarding the incident was going to be discussed.
Hope High School was not the only school that saw an episode the past seven days.
In nearby Clark County, the Gurdon School District made a report on Friday to authorities about a possible threat at Gurdon High School, and on Tuesday, a student was taken to a court appearance.
These local incidents follow a threat report in Star City, a student with a gun on campus at McGehee, a threat at Berryville which another student was arrested, a student with a gun North Little Rock High School on Wednesday, and last Thursday, a student was arrested about a Snapchat post in the Fayetteville School District.


in other Hope High School news, Hoglund and his wife, Terri, who also works at the high school, gave a speech to the Hope Kiwanis Club, according to a contributed story by the Hope School District.  The contributed story, released at about the same time this week as the alleged events at the high school were breaking, is presented in its entirety below:

Students at Hope High School have more academic opportunities now than at any time in the school’s history, HHS Principal Bill Hoglund told Hope Kiwanis Club members here recently.
“There are lots of interesting things going on in the Hope Public Schools,” Hoglund said.
He highlighted the recent Math Day at HHS, which took 9th-11th grade students through an entire day of math-related activities with both academic and practical applications. Hoglund said the program was organized by HHS Math Specialist Judee Gunter in a collaboration with the mathematics department at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia.
Thirty SAU math students guided HHS students through stations in various classrooms at HHS dealing with rational and irrational numbers; math in engineering; geometry theory; probabilities theory; and money math.
“It worked out better than I thought it would,” Hoglund noted.
He said there are opportunities for HHS students to advance their education at the collegiate level while in high school through concurrent studies classes at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana.
Among the graduating seniors of the Class of 2017, 53 students earned at least three credit hours of college studies last year, Hoglund said. Total college credit earned by the Class of 2017 was 800 hours.
Hoglund said the opportunity is for every student because the course offerings are free, including night classes.
He said the school district is also currently developing an initiative with UAHT to establish a collegiate and professions academy on the UAHT Hope campus for 10th -12th grade students.
HHS business and technical studies teacher Terri Hoglund said high school students have a great variety of life skills and technical academics opportunities including computer coding classes which have practical applications in developing electronic applications programs.
Mrs. Hoglund said students at HHS will have the opportunity to apply those skills in developing mobile device applications through a program for high school classes.
“I’ve written a grant to get the equipment they will need,” she said.
Mrs. Hoglund said HHS Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) lab students are developing unique projects which incorporate real world skills, while the Noble 101 class, based upon the national Noble Impact model, allows students to develop a wider sense of how their lives are affected by community and can affect a community.
The HHS Robotics Team, under the primary sponsorship of Kathy Knight, is in its third year as an established class that teaches engineering principles and a club that engages in competition applications.
Mrs. Hoglund also highlighted the Orientation to Teaching class at HHS, which is developing a local corps of future teachers for Hope.
“It’s a grow our own concept,” she said.