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Details emerge in Columbia Falls High School “soft lockdown”

Posted: 10:38 AM, Apr 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-23 15:20:12-04

COLUMBIA FALLS – We are learning more information about what triggered what’s being termed as a “soft lockdown” at Columbia Falls High School on Tuesday morning.

Columbia Falls Chief Clint Peters says officers responded to the area of the high school shortly before 8 a.m. for a report of the potential arrival of an extremely irritated parent who had been using profanity with the school staff over the phone.

Chief Peters says that when the school resource officer arrived at the school, the parent again called and continued to be irate on the phone confirming the earlier call by the school.

The parent stated he was going to come to the High School to speak with the principal in person. The SRO remained at the school to ensure the meeting took place in a peaceful manner.

A short time later, the police department learned that this parent also may have been considering self-harm and was having suicidal thoughts, according to a news release.

“With the potential of a suicidal, and upset individual arriving at the school, the decision was made to put the high school on soft lockdown,” Chief Peters said.

Additional officers were sent to the high school and other school zones within the district as a precaution. Chief Peters added that during the initial investigation, there was information that the parent may have ideations of suicide by cop.

Phone contact was made with the parent in question and the parent agreed to seek treatment for the suicidal thoughts, and never was in fact en route to the school for any reason other than to discuss the issues between the school and his child, according to Peters.

Officers escorted the parent to a medical facility where they are receiving the proper medical care. Chief Peters states it’s been determined that the parent never threatened the school, the school staff, or law enforcement.

The Montana Highway Patrol, the Whitefish Police Department, and the Columbia Falls School District all assisted in the investigation.


(first report)

COLUMBIA FALLS – An incident involving a parent prompted a “soft lockdown” at a Flathead high school on Tuesday morning.

The Columbia Falls Police Department reports that an upset parent was considered to be suicidal and possibly en route to the high school.

Columbia Falls High School was immediately placed on a “soft lockdown.” Police say no direct threat was made toward students or staff and that the lockdown was a precautionary measure.

Law enforcement was on the scene during the lockdown.

The individual who made the threats is now receiving medical attention and there’s no threat to the public at this time, according to a news release.