LAKEVIEW – A community filled with anxiety and speculation nervously awaited word each day whether or not schools would reopen, following threats of violence against students made via social media last weekend.
Lake County School District 7, overseeing all schools within the community of Lakeview, announced on Sunday that all school activities would be canceled on Monday while threats of violence were being investigated. Following an administrative closed-door meeting Monday afternoon, all school activities including athletics were canceled Tuesday as well. As investigations continued, it was determined that a third day of cancellations would be necessary, leaving parents each day scrambling to find alternative plans for children, and left a community wondering what would happen when school bells finally rang once more.
Back in class
Thursday marks the first day that classes are back in session, only after an investigation into the threats was completed and the situation deemed safe. The school district worked closely with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Oregon State Police, and the FBI – the only official status updates coming via text messages to parents and brief Facebook updates on the LCSD7 page.
According to a statement released by Lake County Sheriff Mike Taylor on Wednesday afternoon, several students at Lakeview High School received threats via social media on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 11 p.m. The message stated, “Monday, September 23, 2019 me and my fellow friends will be shooting up your school be prepared to be in a blood bath WE WANT THESE PEOPLE.” The message listed seven student names who were specifically being targeted.
According to Taylor, initial investigation led to several people of interest, including one individual who is not a current student at Lakeview High School. Interviews conducted in cooperation with detectives from Oregon State Police resulted in an admission by an unnamed 13-year-old female student at LHS.
‘... what would happen’
On Wednesday the female student was taken into custody, and transported to Klamath County Juvenile Detention Center. According to Taylor, the student, “wanted to see what would happen.”
The student is being charged with disorderly conduct and harassment.
The joint investigation concluded on Wednesday that while the message did mention her friends, they believe she acted alone.
“This incident has been expeditiously addressed and has defused any threat to students and faculty of the Lake County School District #7 and the community at large,” said Taylor. “A coordinated effort by community partners and citizens of Lake County resulted in a safe and positive resolution to a potentially volatile incident.”
While the ongoing investigation kept much of the community in suspense for several days, the conclusion netted not only a collective sigh of relief, but a kind gesture as well. Placed outside of Lakeview High School’s entrance on Wednesday were several signs made by students that read, “Thank you for keeping us safe.”