Perceived threat to school resolved

Written by Michael Zogg, The Triplicate April 29, 2014 11:02 am

A police car is posted outside Crescent Elk Middle School on Tuesday morning while an apparent threat against a school in Del Norte County was being investigated. Del Norte Triplicate/Michael Zogg
A police car is posted outside Crescent Elk Middle School on Tuesday morning while an apparent threat against a school in Del Norte County was being investigated. Del Norte Triplicate/Michael Zogg
The Del Norte County Unified School District is no longer on high alert after a high school student admitted to posting a message on the internet that had local schools and law enforcement on the lookout, school officials said.

The message that caught law enforcement’s attention was posted on the social media site whisper.com. Whisper allows users to anonymously post a message and a photo to the website.

Law enforcement was informed of a message that read, “I have planned the deaths for over half the people at my school,” according to assistant superintendent Jeff Napier.

Around noon Tuesday, a female student stepped forward to accept responsibility for the post.

The unnamed student claimed that the message was not a threat against any of the schools, nor was there any plan to do harm and she was apologetic about the disturbance that it caused, Crescent City Police Chief Doug Plack said. The student claims to have been talking about the Sims video game that she was playing.

The student is still currently speaking with law enforcement officers Plack said.

“Law enforcement is still investigating all aspects of this situation as well as what led up to this being posted,” Plack said.

The message was sent by someone within a mile of the person that informed local law enforcement of the post.

“This is what we train for. People in all of the law enforcement agencies rehearse for this sort of thing frequently,” Plack said. “We had more of a presence of officers at all the schools. All of the school administrators were advised of the scenario. We reallocated officers from other positions to maintain a higher presence around the school and in the residential areas around the school.”

The message was posted around 9:45 p.m. on Monday.

“We notified the superintendent’s office last night, then we went about notifying each of the individual schools,” sheriff Dean Wilson said.

Parents received an automated call from the school district at 10:50 a.m. Tuesday informing them of the threat and that schools were on high alert. Schools stayed in session, though parents were welcome to sign their kids out.

Roughly 50 kids were signed out of the high school and many were taken from Crescent Elk as well.