By Sarah Elmquist Squires
“Ima shoot the school.”
It was scratched on a bathroom stall at Riverton High School and discovered on Friday afternoon. On Saturday, parents were notified, with school leaders sharing that the message was investigated and determined the threat was “not substantiated.”
Threats against schools are a big deal in the United States, and District #25 leaders took the matter seriously, Superintendent JoAnne Andre-Flanagan explained. The school resource officers (SRO) and administrative team immediately began to investigate the scrawled message, she said. They examined camera footage and other data to make their determination.
“It was just a very generic threat,” she said. “In this situation, it was not substantiated in any way … where we or police felt it was a clear threat.”
School security was heightened, including extra supervision and SROS at hand when school resumed on Monday. That enhanced security will continue in the coming days to ensure the school is safe.
“We look into and investigate everything,” Andre-Flanagan explained. “If we ever learn who it is, there are consequences for that … You don’t want people to panic, but you also want them to be aware, and kids and parents can help.”
It’s important to reach out to parents when something like this happens, Andre-Flanagan shared. Parents, and their children, are often the ones who might have information about the kids who need the most help, regardless of the situation.
One of the resources District #25 leaders employed is “Safe2Tell” information. It’s a state reporting system that allows young people to anonymously share everything from safety concerns to being worried about their friends. Kids, parents, and community members can find help or report a threat at https://www.safe2tellwy.org/. Kids or adults who are contemplating suicide and are hurting can also reach out to 988, a national hotline that is fully staffed with people who understand life’s hardest moments, and are there to help.