GREAT FALLS — Many schools across Montana received an email on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, with a threatening message about a bomb.
Cascade Public Schools said the bomb threat was received via email at about 8:30 p.m. As a result, all classes and school-related events and activities for Wednesday were canceled. School officials said in a news release: "While the threat level appears to be low and not immediate, we are not taking any chances and want to exercise caution until the authorities can clear the building of any posed threat."
Several other school districts across the state received similar threatening messages on Tuesday, including Great Falls, East Helena, Fort Benton, Highwood, Bozeman, and Big Sandy. At this point, there has been no evidence of any explosives or any other credible danger.
Great Falls Public Schools said in a news release: "Great Falls Public Schools plans to continue with our regular school schedule at this time. There will be an increased law enforcement presence in place in and around our schools that guides our response in the event of a threat. The safety of our school communities is our No. 1 priority. If Parents choose to keep their children home tomorrow, Wednesday, January 17, 2024, please notify your child’s school and the absence will be excused."
Fort Benton: "The Fort Benton Police Department along with Fort Benton School administration are actively clearing both schools. NO threat is present at this time. While this threat is not believed to be credible, Fort Benton Public Schools will be closed on Wednesday, January 17th."
Browning: "We contacted law enforcement, although we did not feel it was a credible threat, the safety of all our students and staff are always are number one priority so we asked that our schools be searched. Glacier County Sheriff's Department searched the all schools in coordination with Blackfeet Law Enforcement. They did not find anything suspicious in that search. We are having school today."
Highwood: "Our school worked with local law enforcement to conduct a check of our building. It has been searched and cleared. Unless law enforcement directs us otherwise, we will have school tomorrow as normal."
Big Sandy: Sheriff's Office and staff searched both campuses thoroughly and found nothing suspicious. "Unless we hear otherwise from law enforcement, we are planning to hold school as usual."
Bozeman: "We are appreciative of Bozeman Police Department (BPD) patrol officers and our SROs who have walked through all buildings following the widely distributed email bomb threat across the state last evening. We are proceeding with school at all sites today. You may notice an increased law enforcement presence at the schools as we continue to work and monitor the situation."
Jefferson County Sheriff Tom Grimsrud said that schools in Jefferson County were also impacted, including Whitehall High School, Jefferson High School, and Montana City School. The Sheriff's Office conducted a sweep of all school facilities, and no suspicious devices were found.
Glasgow: "The Valley County Sheriff’s Office and Glasgow Police Department have been made aware of two bomb threats made to local schools in Valley county. These threats have been made to school administrators across the state.
In cooperation with the Montana Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation, these threats are found to be a mass email hoax with no level of credibility."
We will update you when we get more information.