Two cheerleaders are under investigation by the Pinal County Sheriff's Office after a "hit list" they created was posted online.
Authorities said Wednesday that one girl is an eighth-grade student at Walker Butte K-8 School and the other girl is a 10th-grader at Poston Butte High School, both in the Florence Unified School District.
Sheriff's officials say the two girls are suspected of posting the list on the social media site Instagram with an icon of a pistol next to the words "hit list."
Authorities say the list contained the names of 9 students and one teacher.
The girls claim they created the list to name people they didn't like, but didn't intend on harming any of them.
School district officials say both students are facing suspension pending a hearing.
According to a spokesperson for FUSD, school staff were notified about the Instagram post by a parent of one of the students on the list.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, "With recent school shootings across the Country all possible threats of violence at schools are taken seriously by law enforcement. Parents are encouraged to talk with their children and explain the seriousness of making such threats whether they are meant as a joke or not."
Florence Unified School District 1 statement :
"Good morning, parents and staff. This is Dana Hawman, Director of Public Relations for Florence Unified School District calling about a "hit list" involving students and a teacher at Poston Butte High School and Walker Butte K-8. We are sending this message district-wide, as the current environment virtually assures that the story will be picked up by the media, and we want you to have the facts up front. Late last evening, a parent contacted Dr. Pappalardo and Mr. Allee by email, notifying them of a hit list that two students had posted on Instagram. Nine students who attend Poston Butte or Walker Butte and one teacher from Poston Butte were on the list; one of the students who created the list attends Poston Butte and the other is a student at Walker Butte. Administrators met with the Pinal County Sheriff's Department very early this morning and sheriff's deputies are actively involved. Parents of all students concerned, those who created the list and those who were on it, have been or are currently being contacted. Both initiators are already being questioned by deputies. Neither student has a history of disciplinary incidents; however ALL threats are taken very seriously, and both students will be suspended pending a hearing. We thank the parent who brought this to our attention for her part in keeping all of our children safe."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.