Officials say no credible threat after school shooting threat
October 12, 2023
School officials say there is no credible threat after graffiti was found in the Haines School bathroom on Tuesday afternoon that said “school shooting on 10/19,” but the school is nonetheless increasing police presence for the coming days.
In an email sent to parents on Tuesday at 4:09 p.m., principal Lilly Boron said a student noticed the graffiti and reported it to staff. Administration and Haines Police are reviewing video-surveillance footage. Superintendent Roy Getchell said the school has about 35 security cameras in public areas inside and outside of the building that they are reviewing, but said there were none inside the bathrooms.
As of Wednesday morning, acting police chief Josh Dryden said the person who made the graffiti had not been identified. He declined to elaborate further on the status of the investigation, but said there would be a more “robust” police presence at the school in the coming days. He said the police considered the situation an "active threat."
"Until we find who allegedly wrote on the bathroom wall I would consider it an active threat," he said.
Getchell said that he believed the person was a student at the school. He said Haines School’s relatively clean bathrooms led investigators to believe the threat was made recently.
“Our bathrooms are shockingly clean. When you go in, you don’t see writing in it so it stands out. When a student reported it, that tells us that in all likelihood it had been made fairly recently. Some places you wouldn’t know if it was the week before the month before, the year before, but here, we’re confident that we’ve got a time frame that we can look at,” he said.
Getchell said many students were absent on Wednesday, and called the threat a “significant disruption” to learning.
“This is a significant disruption to people’s lives and their learning and into their feeling of safety in what is statistically the safest place a child can be. I think that’s why this is so difficult when something like that is shaken,” he said.
Getchell said the school has several measures in place to protect students, including a cellphone app that allows teachers to call a lockdown at any time. Teachers are also trained in ALICE, an active shooter response protocol. The school is planning to implement a buzz-in, buzz-out system at its entrances this weekend.
“We’ve really worked hard and spent a lot of time and energy on school safety, while at the same time trying to maintain our Haines culture, community involvement, and the safe feeling we have,” he said.
Boron advised anyone with knowledge about the incident to contact her or submit information anonymously at https://appweb.stopitsolutions.com/ by searching for Haines School.
Correction: The headline for this story originally said police claimed no credible threat. Police clarified that they considered it an active threat until a suspect is identified.