East Valley High School is canceling classes Friday due to another threatening message in a restroom warning students to stay away from school.
This message in a boys’ bathroom said students should stay home or they would be “shot up,” according to a statement from Superintendent Kelly Shea.
Administrators and law enforcement believe they have narrowed down who might have written the message with tips from a parent and students, according to Shea. But administrators could not confirm who wrote it and canceled class as a precaution due to the specific threat of violence.
“Though I am not convinced this is a credible threat, I am not comfortable having students attend school,” Shea said in the statement.
Athletic activities will go on as scheduled because the threat was for school hours. All other schools will have normal hours.
Shea said the district has been investigating the threat for the past two days and notified families when it was discovered.
“It is very unfortunate for our students to be in this situation and to have their educational opportunities disrupted by the actions of one or possibly a couple students,” Shea said in the statement. “When we identify the person or people responsible for making this threat, the matter will be turned over to law enforcement and the county prosecutor to determine what charges, if any, are filed against these individuals.”
This threat marks the third at East Valley High School since November. The school continued with classes despite ominous messages that mentioned dates to stay away from school in January and November, but those messages didn’t specifically threaten violence.
“This one specifically threatened to shoot people,” Shea told The Spokesman-Review Thursday.
The district has not identified the students who wrote the previous message, Shea said.
Shea said he’s noticed a pattern that the November threat mentioned the Monday of Thanksgiving break, which is a three-day school week, and a threat in December noted the first day back from winter break in January. The most recent threat for Friday comes before a full week off for midwinter break.
“I think it’s just a way to get out of school,” Shea said. “I don’t know if our students are understanding the seriousness of what they’re doing.”
The high school will make up the lost day of class on May 22 or June 12, according to Shea.
These threats are “extremely disruptive to our kids’ lives,” Shea said. “It creates a lot of anxiety and fear and stress, which is not healthy.”
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