‘See Something, Say Something’: Superintendent’s Message Following Threat At WHS
Sioux Falls Police Deem Threat Made By Student Not Credible
There was extra police presence at Washington High School in Sioux Falls Monday morning following a possible threat made by a student last week. Police say other students became worried after they overheard the teen talking about shooting up the school.
“We work closely with the school district in making sure that all the students are safe,” said Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens.
Police say on Friday afternoon, a 15-year-old student told a 14-year-old friend that he was going to shoot up the school on Monday.
Clemens said, “We identified everyone that was involved, sounds like it was a couple of guys that were talking. That’s really how it started.”
Police say students overheard the conversation and reported it to authorities. Because there was no specific threat and no real intent, police say they decided not to charge the teen.
Clemens said, “It seemed to be done and over with late Friday afternoon and then it sprung up again over the weekend.”
The Sioux Falls School District sent out a call and email to parents at around midnight on Monday after the threat was shared by another student from another school on social media.
“It sounds like somebody had heard that conversation and then kind of word spread. They told somebody else who told somebody else who I think then told another person and then it ended out on social media,” said Clemens.
“We knew fairly quickly that there wasn’t a lot of credibility to the threat. That didn’t alleviate though the information that was out there detailing the threat so really what we had to deal with was the misinformation,” said Sioux Falls School District Superintendent Dr. Brian Maher.
“Hopefully in the future, if our kids continue to see something and say something, they may just well prevent a tragedy,” Maher said.
Some parents told the district that they wished they wouldn’t have sent out any information or later this morning. Maher says he made the decision based on when he would have wanted to know as a parent, and that’s right away.
Maher wouldn’t comment on any specific student, but said that in a situation where a bogus threat is made, they would face consequences at school.