Missoula Student Accused of Threatening to ‘Shoot-up’ School, Deemed to be Low Risk
Missoula police are responding to claims that a student threatened violence at Big Sky High School and later assaulted another student.
“My child was open-hand slapped on Friday, after he refused to give the suspect a granola bar," said a father. "I couldn't believe the student was in school on Friday, because my son told me this same student threatened the school on Thursday, saying 'it will take the entire military to stop me, when I come to shoot-up this school.'"
The father says he has taken his child out of school for safety reasons, because the suspect continues to go to classes. He filed a police report Tuesday morning.
Missoula County Public School (MCPS) Superintendent Mark Thane says there is a system in place to handle these types of threats. "We actually have a protocol that is put in place to go through an assessment and that will help inform what our next steps might be," Thane said. "It's not fool proof, but all reports of that nature would be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. If, in fact, it's determined that there is merit for the concern then, certainly it would be actionable."
The actions possible include a broad spectrum from in-school discipline to expulsion. According to MCPS Director of Communications Hatton Littman, a verbal threat was made at Big Sky High school late last week and a threat assessment was made concerning the student, however, the school was not aware of a later assault.
"School officials followed a threat assessment procedure and concluded that the threat in this instance was low," Littman said. "There are always 'next steps' in a case like this, the school is taking next steps, but those steps won’t be announced publicly because of student privacy."
Police were processing the incident report on Tuesday. Names of students will not be released to protect their identities.