Rumors of shooting plot surface in Tigard, Tualatin
Police investigate and rule out potential threats at THS and TuHS
Since Friday's shooting at a Connecticut elementary school left more than 20 people dead, rumors have been circulating at Tigard and Tualatin high schools about similar attacks, but police and school officials announced Monday there was no validity to those claims.
Tigard High School Principal Greg Neffendorf released a statement Monday afternoon saying staff members heard rumors from students about a possible shooting threat at the school. District officials and Tigard Police investigated those claims. According to Neffendorf, the threats to Tigard High turned out to be little more than rumors.
"I want to assure you, as the principal of Tigard High, my number one priority every day is the safety and security of our students," Neffendorf wrote. "With the recent events in Connecticut and Clackamas Town Center, it reminds us how important our focus on safety really is."
The news came only hours after Tualatin Police released a similar statement about Tualatin High School.
According to Lt. Greg Pickering, a spokesman with Tualatin Police, a student at Tualatin High School made a post on Twitter last week, saying she planned on staying home from school Dec. 21 because of a possible shooting threat.
The post came only a few hours after news reports flooded airwaves about the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The information spread rapidly across Twitter and social media. Tualatin High officials reported the information to police.
"The Tualatin Police and the (Tigard-Tualatin) School District take any threat of harm to students or staff very seriously," Pickering said.
Pickering said officers interviewed several students but were unable to substantiate any of the information.
"Tualatin Police had exhausted all investigative leads, although the information continued to spread through several social media outlets," he said.
Pickering said rumors continued to spread throughout the weekend.
Several other area schools were dealing with similar circumstances, including Reynolds High School in Troutdale. Police will continue to investigate any leads, Pickering said.
In the meantime, Pickering advised parents to talk with their children about reporting information to police and school officials.