Crosby-Ironton School District reports threats of violence against students
A former Crosby-Ironton student apparently said Friday would be a good time to bomb or shoot people at the school.
The threat was reportedly made at a Sunday choir concert to one or more students.
In a post on the school’s Facebook page, Superintendent Jamie S. Skjeveland stated:
“There are many reports and rumors going around about a former C-I student. It is my understanding that he made a comment to a student or group students at last Sunday’s (12/16) Choir Concert about this coming Friday (12/21) being the ‘End of the World’ and this being a good time to bomb or shoot people at a school.
“The Crosby police and Crow Wing County Sheriff’s department are well aware of these comments and they have conducted an investigation. The police have assured Crosby-Ironton administration that there are multiple layers of security surrounding this individual who made these comments.”
Skjeveland said law enforcement has assured the school district they are “concentrating patrols around both schools this week.” In addition, an officer will be at the high school and Cuyuna Range Elementary School as an added security measure Friday.
The Crosby schools have security measures and have operated for years as locked buildings with a system of buzzing in visitors.
In comments beneath the superintendent’s post on Facebook, parents were planning on keeping their children home, wondering about who made the threats and concerned the threat is taken seriously. Some suggested canceling school to be safe.
“We don’t view any reason to close school at this time,” Skjeveland said Thursday afternoon.
The choir concert involved multiple school grades of current students.
Crosby Police Chief Kim Coughlin said officers learned of the possible threat earlier this week from a third party. A juvenile male was identified as the source of the threats, which Coughlin said were vague, indirect and unsubstantiated at this time. The threats, Coughlin said, didn’t include details about a specific school or target.
“However, with that said, law enforcement officials have taken the threats seriously and have a plan of action in place,” Coughlin stated. “The Crosby Police Department along with assistance of the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department, the Brainerd Police Department and other local agencies including Social Services, are thoroughly investigating the situation. At this time, officers have found no viable risks to the public.”
Coughlin said as a reminder to the public, any suspicious activity, especially around schools, should be reported to law enforcement with as much detail as is possible, whether that’s a report of a suspicious vehicle or a possible threat — even if it seems small. Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl said all threats will be taken seriously by law enforcement.
The timing of the threat comes a week after the school shooting took the lives of 20 young students and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Thursday, NBC News reported Michigan officials closed 33 schools two days early for the holiday break, in part because the Mayan calendar reportedly predicts the world will end Friday. A Michigan superintendent said the doomsday theory was adding to fears raised by the Connecticut school shooting and rumors about potential violence against students — all of which prompted the school closings.
Skjeveland said people are rightly on edge because of what’s happening in the country.
“It’s unnerving,” Skjeveland said. “Our whole country is unnerved right now. We’re just experiencing this and as a community and as a country we’ll get through this.”
The district has 1,121 students.
“People are a little more concerned and they have a right to be and schools are doing everything they can to keep our kids safe,” Skjeveland said. “We investigate every threat. We take every threat seriously.”
Skjeveland said the district also respects the decision of parents and students who decide not to attend classes because they don’t feel safe or are scared because of threats.
“We’re going to do everything as a school district and law enforcement to make sure our kids are safe,” Skjeveland said.