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Sheriff’s Office investigating Frenchtown schools threat

Posted at 9:54 AM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-18 19:45:15-05

MISSOULA – The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to look into an incident that prompted classes at all Frenchtown schools to be canceled on Friday.

Deputies were notified on Thursday about a conversation that took place on a Frenchtown school bus about a possible school shooting event, according to Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Brenda Bassett. The witnesses who overheard the conversation notified their parents who then got in touch with school officials.

The Sheriff’s Office has opened an active investigation and Bassett says that the “detectives who are investigating will determine what action needs to be taken based on the context and content of that conversation.”

The threat prompted Frenchtown school officials to call off classes at all schools on Thursday evening.

The MCSO said Friday that after several interviews, the case has been referred to Missoula Youth Court.

Frenchtown School District Superintendent Randy Cline issued a statement Friday afternoon addressing the incident.

After the District was made aware of a verbal threat last night, school officials determined it would be best to cancel school on Friday and give the District and law enforcement time to fully investigate the threat before bringing students back to school.   School officials conducted a threat assessment today and are working with law enforcement to address the safety and welfare of our students and staff.   No weapons were on school property, and there was no imminent threat to student or staff safety.  The District is fully cooperating with law enforcement and they will handle any legal consequences of the threat. 

The District will not comment on individual student discipline, but all threats are taken seriously and we take the steps necessary to keep students and staff safe.  School will resume on Tuesday, January 22 with an additional law enforcement presence, and counselors will be available to assist students as necessary.  We are thankful for the continued support of our parents and the Frenchtown community, as well as the collaboration with law enforcement.  

Randy H. Cline

Superintendent, Frenchtown School District