GREAT FALLS — On Tuesday, October 5, 2021, the Great Falls Police Department received a report of a possible threat at East Middle School. Great Falls Public Schools administration and the School Resource Officer at East identified a suspect.
The GFPD and GFPS said in a news release on Wednesday evening that their investigation confirmed that a student did make threatening statements toward another student, and though the student did not have the means to carry out the threats, the suspect student was removed from the school.
As a precaution, enhanced security measures (in addition to the standard safety precautions that GFPS and the GFPD already have in place) were activated for the following school day (Wednesday).
Detectives proceeded with the investigation and interviewed several other students who were present when the statements were made.
Detectives learned that, as two students bantered back and forth, both of them threatened violence with weapons against each other.
The GFPD and GFPS said that the statements were "grossly inappropriate."
The GFPD said it is "confident they have reached the root of the information" and the situation has been resolved.
Both students have been criminally charged with disorderly conduct, and because Montana law prevents detectives from conducting a physical arrest for this charge, the incident has been referred to Youth Court Services.
Administrative action will be determined by GFPS.
The news release states: "There is no reason to believe EMS is not a safe setting for students and staff. We understand a significant number of students did not attend school today; we look forward to welcoming them back tomorrow."
(OCTOBER 5, 2021) After receiving a report of a threat made toward students at East Middle School, the Great Falls Police Department shared the following information on Tuesday, October 5, 2021:
Today, we received a report of threatening comments made towards students at East Middle School. School Resource Officers immediately started an investigation and quickly identified the student involved. Safety measures have been put in place to ensure there is no danger from this incident.
We are working closely with Great Falls Public Schools administrators to conduct separate inquiries into the incident. As always, the safety of students and staff is our top priority. Due to the current stage of the investigation, and statutorily protected privacy rights of those involved, will we not provide further details at this time.
Please be cognizant of the information you share and the impact spreading misinformation may have on others. Disseminating rumors based on hearing only a portion of the story, or sheer speculation, is not only irresponsible-it can be dangerous. We remain committed to ensuring the safety of Great Falls’ youth and appreciate those who support us in that endeavor.
We have seen online reports that one student told another that he was having two other kids “shoot up the school tomorrow,” but that has not been confirmed by GFPD or school officials.
We will post an update if we get more details.