As many as 150 students failed to attend classes today at Bonners Ferry High School after an incident involving a threat that surfaced and was resolved on Thursday blew up into a major social media scare late Sunday.
“We are fully confident that there is no threat to the school or the students, and that there has not been such threat,” said assistant Bonners Ferry Police Chief Marty Ryan. “Our school resource officer was on hand at the school when this threat was made known on Thursday, and this was immediately and fully investigated by both the Bonners Ferry Police Department and the Boundary County Sheriff’s Office.”
According to Ryan, the student, a freshman, was identified early on, interviewed by law enforcement in cooperation with not only school officials, but the boy’s parents as well, and it was quickly clear that the “threat” was in word only, that there were no accomplices, no hit list, nothing at all to lend credence to the existence of a threat.
“The boy’s parents were fully cooperative and completely involved,” Ryan said. “The young man, once confronted, was open and honest and confirmed he had just made a statement that, in retrospect, was pretty dumb. He told us that there were no accomplices and we confirmed that there isn’t and never has been a hit list or anything of the kind. He has been suspended and is going through in-depth counseling with professionals using national standards established for just this type situation. He will be out of class until that counseling is complete.”
The incident hit social media Sunday, taking both police and school officials by surprise, and quickly blew to proportions that, Ryan said, have caused harm.
“There is no basis in fact, just a lot of fear,” he said. “We are completely confident that this incident poses no true threat and never has been.”
There is a heavy law enforcement presence at the high school this morning strictly as a precaution.
“We encourage students to return to class,” Ryan said. “We are fully confident that they are safe from this threat.”
While the incident has taken on a malevolent life of its own, Ryan and all law enforcement officers are grateful that the threat was reported and they encourage anyone who becomes aware of such a threat to immediately report it.
“We take each report seriously and we will respond and take action as deemed appropriate in each case,” Ryan said. “No one wants harm to come to our students and we will do all in our power to prevent it.”
To report such a threat, contact the Boundary County Sheriff’s Office, (208) 267-3151, extension 0