Pownal woman cited for false public alarm

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BENNINGTON — A Pownal woman faces a false public alarm charge after police said her social media post about an unsubstantiated report of a school shooting threat caused panic earlier this week.

The woman was issued a criminal citation after she posted in a Facebook group Monday, according to Bennington police, who stressed they deemed a rumor about planned violent action not credible.

Administrators at Mount Anthony Union High School notified police on Monday about "a rumor concerning a possible shooting" that was going to take place Wednesday, police said in a news release. School staff interviewed students and then contacted police.

Police said they interviewed students and learned the rumor of a threat was "unconfirmed and unsubstantiated" and was started by a student with "no specific or credible information about an actual person/suspect or threat."

Tammy Drake, who police said is the mother of a MAUHS student, wrote in her Facebook post that "a threat was made that a shooting is going to occur at our school on Wednesday." The post has since been removed.

Police said the post "was made without credible knowledge of a threat" and "caused great public concern for the safety of the community."

"Based on her own admission, Drake had no credible information about a school shooting, yet decided to post on social media what someone told her," police said. "Her actions upset many people in the Bennington community and led people to believe a shooting was going to take place."

Drake, 46, was cited to appear in Bennington criminal court on a later date.


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