Bomb Threat Prompts Law Officers to Conduct Early Morning Search at Declo High School
DECLO, Idaho (KLIX) – Law enforcement officers searched Declo High School early Thursday morning after a bomb threat was posted on a social media account.
Law officers received a copy of an Instagram account that posted the threat, according to Cassia County School District spokeswoman Debbie Critchfield. The agencies immediately sprang into action and searched the entire school before class on Thursday.
“Officials completed a sweep of the entire facility for anything that might be suspicious,” she said, “but they didn’t find anything.”
When the agencies tried to trace the social media account, she said, they found that it had been deleted.
"We won’t let our guard down," Cassia School District spokeswoman Debbie Critchfield says. "We take every precaution, go through every channel. We take every threat seriously.”
“They did not locate that it was a viable threat,” Critchfield said. “However, all of the same protocols and procedures went into place as if it were."
It’s been a tough week for the school district. On Tuesday another threat posted on social media, while not naming a specific school, mentioned schools in Cassia and Minidoka counties, prompting a more visible police presence at the buildings.
Critchfield said students, parents and school staff and administrators are on edge.
“There’s a lot of anxiety. I think there is anxiety mixed with anger,” she said. “The emotional toll it is taking on families and the community is significant.”
She said the district takes each threat seriously, but the stresses this week have been wearing on everyone involved, including law officers. She compared the district and its 17 schools as covering an area roughly the size of Delaware.
“For the most part, we have a one-county team that is trying to be as responsive as they can. We absolutely praise them," she said, but noting that each investigation into a school threat takes them away from other potential emergency needs.
She said the district will fully support the prosecution of anyone, including students, who make or share threats via social media or otherwise. The district is planning to hold sessions with students about the seriousness of passing along threats via social media, and it encourages parents to become more involved with their students’ social media accounts.
For now, Critchfield said students and staff are looking forward to a break from class this weekend.
“This needs to stop,” she said of the threats, noting that if they are meant as pranks they are not funny and students who think they might get out of class because of them will still have to make up class time, “whether now or in July."
"We won’t let our guard down," she continued. "We take every precaution, go through every channel. We take every threat seriously.”