UPDATE: School district speaks out after student is charged for making online threats

RUPERT, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The Rupert Police Department announced today in a press release that a 13 year old East Minico Middle School student is being charged with threatening violence on school grounds.

The 13th year old student will be in court in the next few days.

On August 30th the Rupert police department was notified of threats made over the social media platform Instagram.

The Rupert Police Department said in Facebook post the student threatened to shoot students at school. Police say the threats were made on Aug. 29 within an Instagram chat room.

"If you remember there was a report of threats at the school that day, it required extra law enforcement at the school. Detectives have finished their investigation. A 13 year old student at the school was identified as the source of the threats," said Lt. Jeff McEwen with the Rupert Police Department.

Due to the nature of the threats, low enforcement presence was increased at the all Minidoka County schools.

However, investigators quickly determined the threats were against an individual and not the school itself.

"Search warrants were served regarding the accounts that made the threats. Through the course of the investigation, the student was identified," Lt. McEwen said.

“We will always take threats against our schools very seriously,” said Chief James Wardle, in a news release. “We will always err on the side of caution to make sure that students are safe when they attend school.”

The school and police were notified of the threat very early on August 30th. Superintendent Doctor Kenneth Cox said that the school district could have handled the situation differently.

"We made a lot of mistakes during that incident, primarily about communicating to our patrons about what was going on, and how quickly we communicated," superintendent Doctor Kenneth Cox said. "We have made a lot changes in the way we plan on communicating our incidents in the future. We have had a lot of meetings with law enforcement about the way that we prepare for these incidents, if need be in the future," Doctor Kenneth Cox said.

The case has been forwarded to the Minidoka County prosecutor.

The student will be charged with threatening violence on school grounds.

The Rupert Police Department says that parents should be involved in their child’s life.

"One of the worst things we can do like August 30th is panic because of the amount of information coming in, so I would encourage parents everywhere to be involved in their child’s activities, on their phones, and to contact the proper authorities if they discover something that they think might be a problem," Lt. McEwen said.

According to the superintendent Doctor Cox, that student is still continuing their education, but not at East Minico Middle School.



 
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