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Brainerd police arrest 2 juveniles for threatening school violence

Based on the facts and circumstances presented in these investigations, the decision was made to cancel classes throughout the district Friday.

Brainerd High School exterior winter
Brainerd High School.
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Brainerd Police arrested two juveniles late Thursday night, Dec. 16, after receiving information about potential threats to Brainerd Public Schools.

Both juveniles were held at the Northwestern Minnesota Juvenile Center in Bemidji pending charges of threats of violence, according to a news release from Police Chief Mike Bestul Friday.

Brainerd and Baxter police along with the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office are investigating the incidents and in the release encouraged anyone with information to contact the Brainerd Police Department.

Police have been in constant communication with school staff throughout these investigations, the chief reported. Based on the facts and circumstances presented in these investigations, the school officials made the decision to cancel all classes and activities throughout the district Friday.

“It is our goal within law enforcement to have all school activities resume within the district as soon as possible,” Bestul stated in the release. “The safety of the students, staff, and community will continue to be the driving factor in all decisions that are made. Law Enforcement continues to follow up on any new information pertaining to threats involving the Brainerd School District and will continue to communicate with school staff.”


Superintendent Laine Larson said Friday the district always aims to put the health, wellness and safety of students and staff at the forefront of decision-making, and she praised the collaborative work with the Brainerd and Baxter police departments.

“I knew that it was the right thing to do for our kids and for our staff,” Larson said of closing school Friday at the request of law enforcement. “And so I just want to thank them, and I want to thank our community for their support and their commitment to ensuring a safe learning environment for all.”

Classes will resume as planned for Brainerd schools Monday, Dec. 20.

These threats come at the same time of a nationwide TikTok trend circulating, threatening violence in schools across the country Dec. 17. Three Morrison County schools also closed Friday, as they may have been specifically mentioned in a social media post, the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office reported Thursday.

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