Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School Principal Lori Dilbeck announced in a parent letter Thursday, Feb. 6, that a middle school student allegedly made a serious threat to the school. A threat assessment team, including law enforcement, school counselor, psychologist and school administrator, met to determine next steps. The team is following a best-practice model for accessing the possible threat and following district policy.
The parent letter said the school will continue to monitor the situation. Law enforcement and the Department of Human Services have been involved since the first report of the situation and will continue to be involved.
Neah-Kah-Nie School District Superintendent Paul Erlebach said he believes the threat was made in October, and the district recently found out about it. The threat made was that the student was going to ‘shoot up the school.’ The threat was not made to a specific student.
Erlebach said the student is not currently attending school and it depends on the investigation whether the student will be able to return. The method the district is using in the investigation is called Threat Assessment Protocol. Erlebach said staff went through training offered by PACE, which works to keep Oregon students safe and reduce risks.
According to PACE, the Threat Assessment Protocol consists of ongoing information shared between law enforcement and the threat assessment team, use supervision strategies to address concerns, and complete a survey through the investigation team.
The school’s district’s board policy on threat of violence states that student threats of harm to self or others, threatening behavior or acts of violence, including threats to severely damage school property shall not be tolerated. Students found in violation of this policy shall be subject to discipline up to and including expulsion. The student is then required to be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional before they can return to the classroom setting.
“The school district’s number one concern is student and staff safety,” Dilbeck said in the letter. “We will keep our parents and school community informed of new developments if there are any.”
Parents and community members should report any information they have that is concerning the school and make sure not to disseminate rumors or false information, the letter said.
The letter was sent home with students and shared electronically to parents, as well as on the school district’s website and Facebook page.