UPDATE: Threat to Pillager Public Schools deemed not credible; school resumes Tuesday

The Cass County sheriff later said no credible threat to public safety found.

Pillager Schools
Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch

PILLAGER — In a notice sent Monday morning to parents and guardians of students at Pillager Public Schools, school officials announced the school would be closing at 1 p.m. Monday, April 24, due to a threat to presented to the school district on social media.

The Cass County Sheriff's Office later Monday said the threat was determined to not be credible, and school officials reported Monday afternoon classed could resume Tuesday morning.

"We appreciate the collaboration and the support that we received from the Cass County Sheriff's Department throughout the entire day. We also are thankful for your calm reaction to this situation and the patience given to each office staff as they worked through dismissing students," school district officials said in an email sent to parents at 4 p.m. Monday. "We know that days like this also cause many disruptions in your day as well and may also cause anxiety and stress for you and your children."

District officials, in canceling classes, did so as a precaution.

"Pillager Public Schools takes all threats and the safety of our students and staff seriously," district officials said in the notice to parents and guardians. In addition to canceling classes for the remainder of Monday, district officials canceled after school activities.


Pillager Public Schools Superintendent Michael Malmberg said students received threats on the social media app Snapchat on their way to school. Malmberg said the threat was sent to multiple students from an unidentified person on the platform. The threat mentioned something would happen at a specific time. Specifics about the nature of the threat were not released.

“We were notified after student buses were already out and kids were already on their way here,” Malmberg said. “So we made some safety preparations this morning. We checked backpacks as kids entered and had extra police here this morning.”

As students were already in route to school, staff decided to continue the morning classes and have buses come back to pick up students. With the action of law enforcement in the building this morning, students were searched as they arrived and the additional officers will remain in the building throughout the day, Malmberg said.

On Monday afternoon, Cass County Sheriff Bryan Welk said his office is assisting in the investigation and there is no credible threat to public safety at this time. Welk said further information regarding the incident would come from the school district.

Tim Speier joined the Brainerd Dispatch in October 2021, covering Public Safety.
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