Box Elder schools move online as police investigate potential threats
Dec 13, 2021, 1:32 PM | Updated: 6:40 pm
TREMONTON, Utah — Several schools in Box Elder County moved classes online Monday as police continued to investigate three “potential threats.”
Right now, police believe all three were pranks or hoaxes. They say one possibly led to two copycats, but all three weree being taken seriously.
That’s how officers said they must respond in situations like this, and it’s why eight schools were shut down to in-person learning Monday.
Bomb-sniffing dogs combed through each of the schools involved in Monday’s shutdown. Police said all of it started from a message scratched into a bathroom stall at Bear River High School.
Bomb-sniffing dogs are also checking all of the Tremonton & Garland area public schools since an explosive was mentioned in one of the three threats. Again, it's all being done as a precaution. @KSL5TV pic.twitter.com/40V31MYdEd
— Mike Anderson (@mikeandersonKSL) December 13, 2021
Cassie Jensen said she heard about it after her son saw it posted on social media on Friday.
“And it was disturbing as a parent, I’m not gonna lie. We decided then that we were going to keep him home Monday,” Jensen said.
Police say they initially caught a lead, thanks to surveillance video from inside the school.
“Kind of had a suspect and thought we had everything cleared up, and last night sometime we started getting more social media stuff saying there was more stuff possibly going on,” said Tremonton-Garland Chief of Police Nick Nessen.
The plan was to simply have an added police presence Monday, but then the post circulated.
“We think that just spun these other threats out,” Nessen said.
Superintendent Steven Carlson said two threats showed up on social media, which he believes are likely copycats.
“One with a young man, took a video of himself with a gun in his hand, and another one had a picture of a young man with a banner across there,” Carlson said.
That banner mentioned a bomb and Carlson said the gun was determined to be fake.
“It’s very frustrating because you have to take everything seriously,” Carlson said.
It’s frustrating for administrators, staff and police and frightening for parents.
“It’s just unsettling when you see and hear about all these other shootings, and I wouldn’t want to send my daughter or any of my kids to school with that,” said parent Alisa Armistead.
“I think it should be taken very seriously. I mean as a parent, you’re putting our children’s lives in danger, and it’s not a joke,” Jensen said.
And Carlson said this all is being taken very seriously, and police will pursue charges.
He said sending classes online is also a problem for many students who depend on school breakfast and lunch, who may not have those meals Monday.