MISSOULA - Messages led to a "perimeter lock-in" at Big Sky High School in Missoula for much of the day on Thursday. The threats were non-specific but warned students to not be in the school at around 1 p.m.
There were two threats in total that were written in graffiti at the school -- one in the women's bathroom and the other in the men's restroom. School district officials do not think that the two were written by the same person.
Students and parents were notified of the threats and were allowed to leave school with a parent or guardian's permission which is standard protocol for Missoula County Public Schools.
There was no active shooter on any MCPS school campus, and for the students that were still in the high school classes resumed as normal. Multiple officers were sent to Big Sky school as extra security and all entrances to the school were guarded by staff because of the "perimeter lock-in" status.
Because of the current climate around school safety, the District is taking all threats seriously, but Superintendent Mark Thane is asking students to think about their actions regarding these threats.
"I really implore students in particular who may feel for some reason compelled to create rumors or to issue threats to contemplate the long-term consequences of their actions," Thane said.
"And in the wake of a tragedy like was experienced in Florida, I think its critical for students to understand the negative impact that has on their fellow students along with the families in the community," he added.
The Big Sky students that MTN News talked with believe these graffiti threats to be a joke to get out of school and they just want to be able to attend school in peace.
Multiple schools have received threats to their students and staff over the past three days across Western Montana.
Besides the graffiti threats from at Big Sky, one student received a threat directly to her phone. A high school aged girl reported a threat to the Missoula Police Department on Wednesday afternoon.
The girl, who is a Big Sky student, received the threat over Snapchat from a student who attends a private high school in the area. In the Snapchat, the student who made the threat was sitting next to a firearm which implied danger to the Big Sky student.
"The reason that we are investigating this one,as opposed to maybe others that are handled internally, is that we have a specific person coming to us and making a complaint and asking us to file a report and investigate," Missoula Police spokesman Sgt. Travis Welsh told MTN News. "The photograph was sent to a specific person specifics play a pretty big role."
Officers are still investigating the incident but say both parties have been cooperative. Additional law enforcement officers will be at the school on Friday and classes will run on a normal schedule.
MISSOULA - A "perimeter lock-in" remains in place at Big Sky High School after threatening graffiti was found in a girl's bathroom on Thursday morning.
Missoula County Public Schools spokeswoman Hatton Littman says that as of 1 p.m. about half of the students of Big Sky High School were still attending classes. She added that the perimeter lock-in will be in place until the end of the school day.
"In the past 90 minutes, there has been a calm and orderly process managed by the staff of the school to process parents who wish to sign their children out of school or calling in to excuse their students who drove themselves to school," Littman said in a statement provided to MTN News.
There's no further information related to the graffiti found earlier in the day, according to Littman and a law enforcement sweep of the school did not find any additional threatening information.
Littman added that "there have been inaccurate social media claims of an active shooter within the building and students barricading classroom doors with their desks. These are not factual statements."
Additionally, Thursday afternoon’s basketball games against Helena Capital will run on a normal schedule.
Additional law enforcement officers will be at the school through Thursday night’s events and into the school day on Friday. Classes will also run on a normal schedule on Friday.
MISSOULA - Another threat has been found at Big Sky High School prompting what's being described as "a perimeter lock-in".
A message was sent to parents at 11:40 a.m. on Thursday by Missoula County Public Schools.
Missoula County Public Schools spokeswoman Hatton Littman provided the following information to MTN News in an email:
Good morning Big Sky Families:
"Within the past fifteen minutes, additional graffiti has been found in a girls bathroom within the F Building at the school. The graffiti states "Don't be at Big Sky at 1:20."
Due to the nature of the situation, we have implemented a perimeter lock-in . There are staff posted at all entrances of the school and they will be monitoring anyone entering and exiting the building. We have additional law enforcement officers present at the school who are completing a sweep of the building to look for any threats within the building.
We will more information on this developing story as it becomes available.