An additional police officer was stationed at Lakes Middle School this past Friday after a note with a written threat was found the day before on the school’s Coeur d’Alene campus.
Early Oct. 20, school officials notified Lakes parents by email and posted a message about the threatening note on the school district’s Facebook page.
“A scrap of paper containing a threat was found on the grounds, along a fence next to Hastings Avenue,” said the social media post.
Because this is part of an ongoing police investigation, school officials would not say whether the written threat was a shooting. A parent posted on social media late Thursday that her friend’s daughter found the note, and that it said a shooting would take place Friday at Lakes.
The school district’s administration and the Coeur d’Alene police are investigating the note.
“Some kids found it and turned it in,” said school district spokesman Scott Maben.
Maben said the note was vague and did not direct the threat toward a particular school or student.
It’s also unclear how recently the note was created, due to its condition.
Authorities did not believe the threat was credible, but as a precaution, school officials and the police department decided to station an extra officer on campus on Friday.
A letter sent home to parents Friday afternoon, signed by Principal Jeffrey Bengtson, Assistant Principal Michelle Johnson and School Resource Officer Jordan Noble, said they appreciate that the students who found the note turned it in.
“That is exactly what we encourage our students to do: say something if they see or hear something that seems wrong or causes them concern,” the letter said. “We also know that rumors spread quickly by word of mouth and on social media, and that inaccurate information is sometimes shared between students and family members. If you have concerns or questions, please call and ask to speak with school administration or our school resource officer.”
Coeur d’Alene Police Detective Jared Reneau said law enforcement agencies are seeing an increase in non-credible threats of violence at schools.
Long before Facebook and Snapchat, it wasn’t uncommon for schools to receive bomb threats by telephone or scrawled on a note left at the school or on a bathroom wall.
Back then, the bomb threats were often made by students trying to get out of taking a test.
With the rise of technology, the latest fake threats spread wider and more quickly than ever, but Reneau said they often appear to be coming from similar motivation.
“It’s a new way to get out of class.”
But every threat is taken seriously, Reneau said.
“We have to be right — 100 percent of the time.”