Threat to Sandpoint schools resolved

Incident raises awareness of how to opt into district’s message system

By Reader Staff

A social media post threatening possible violence at local schools Oct. 3 resulted in the criminal charge of a Sandpoint High School student and prompted the Lake Pend Oreille School District to encourage families to either sign up for message alerts or confirm their contact information with their children’s school.

LPOSD Superintendent Dr. Becky Meyer took to the district’s social media page to share news of the event on Oct. 3.

The welcome sign outside of Sandpoint High School. Photo by Ben Olson.

“We want to let you know that our district leadership was made aware of a social media post this morning, referring to possible school violence,” she wrote. “Sandpoint and Bonner County Law Enforcement were immediately alerted and are investigating. We do not have reason to believe that the threat was made by or toward any LPOSD students.

“Please be assured,” she continued, “our normal operations are in place with extra security and law enforcement presence on our campuses.”

The Sandpoint Police Department went into more detail about the report on its own social media, stating: “This morning a Sandpoint High School student reported to the school administration they had seen on a comment on [social media video platform] TikTok about a student being upset with another student and a reference to a threat to bring a gun and shoot up the school.”

SPD went on to state that the department did “not believe there is a credible threat to Sandpoint High School,” but that officers were “taking all precautions to ensure our students, staff and visitors are safe.”

Following the investigation, and later that same day, SPD reported that it had “located an SHS student who has admitted to posting the threat” in order “to create chaos in the school” that day. The student was charged accordingly, SPD said.

While LPOSD did send out alerts via email, text and phone call, the district’s social media postings featured comments from families who claimed not to be notified. In response, district officials have reiterated that such alerts are shared through the SchoolMessenger platform to people who opt in.

“Our reports show that some families had registered landlines, which are ineligible to receive SMS messages,” LPOSD officials stated. “Many families have also not opted in to our SchoolMessenger system.”

To opt in, text “Y” or “Yes” to LPOSD’s specific code number at 67587.

Those who believe they’ve already opted in but are not receiving messages can contact their child’s school directly to confirm that their contact information on file is correct.

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