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Alleged Plains school threat leaves parents calling for action

Plains Threat School Meeting
Posted at 9:27 AM, Nov 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 11:30:39-05

PLAINS — Parents and students gathered at a school board meeting in Plains on Monday night to voice concerns about an apparent lack of communication from administration following an alleged threat of violence.

Plains Schools released a statement on their Facebook page Saturday afternoon, more than 24 hours after the school was first notified of the purported threat.

In that post, Superintendent Thom Chisholm said that the threat level did not warrant public notification. Chisholm explained that he received word of the allegation from a parent who learned of the threat from a student.

Immediately after being notified of this on Thursday evening, Plains administration took action.

A parent was contacted, the student was interviewed by administration, and the allegations were investigated by law enforcement before school on Friday morning. Following the investigation, school administration found the threat to be illegitimate.

“Now the timing of it wasn’t great because people felt we should have communicated somehow, but really there was nothing to communicate, so had this been a validated threat obviously we have mechanisms to put that in place too," Chisholm said of the incident.

But at a time of such heightened sensitivity to school safety, parents in the Plains community felt they were left out of the loop, and last night they demanded answers.

Tim Patton, a sophomore at Plains High School, expressed his concern at the meeting.

“Procedures need to change. They don’t have procedures in place to exactly deal with this kind of incident. If it’s an open policy where they can change it and adapt, that’s what I’d like to see. If there is a policy it needs to change, it needs to have stricter guidelines.”

Superintendent Chisholm emphasized the seriousness of the alleged threat, and noted that administration will continue monitoring the situation.