Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Threat to middle school a rumor, say police

Not quite a week after the tragic shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, rumors circulated about a threat against the Scapppoose Middle School Dec. 20.

The Scappoose Police Department responded immediately, said Lt. Norman Miller, but determined the threat was unfounded.

“These stories were similar in nature to multiple unfounded reports designed to disrupt schools across our country,” said Scappoose School District Superintendent Stephen Jupe in a message sent out to parents Dec. 20.

School districts across the nation have reported different threats over the last week and near the anniversary of Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. Like the threat against the Scappoose Middle School, many of these have proven to be rumors.

“The Scappoose Police Department have spent this evening following up every possible lead and have found none of them leading anywhere except to innuendo and hearsay,” said Jupe in his statement. “There is no evidence of any plot to do harm to anyone.”

However, the school district requested additional police patrols in the area during the school day on Dec. 21 and multiple police vehicles cycled through school parking lots.

Miller, pausing for a moment outside the Otto Peterson Elementary School on the morning of Dec. 21, said extra officers were on duty, patrolling the area by car, although none were being posted directly on school campuses.

One young girl at Otto Peterson Elemetary asked her dad, a Columbia City police officer, to accompany her to school. He came in uniform and stayed with her through lunch.

On Facebook, comments spun back and forth between concerned Scappoose parents. Many decided to send their children to school, but others said they would keep their children at home.

“We and the police can assure our patrons that Scappoose School District and Scappoose Police Department will do everything we can to keep our students and schools safe,” the statement from Jupe continued. “However, we understand that the decision to send students to school tomorrow is a parental one, and we respect that right.”

No attendance numbers were available for Dec. 21. Student attendance tends to be low anyway on the last day before the Christmas holidays, according to the Scappoose School District Office.