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Idaho Falls School District 91 postcard threat raising some questions

Coming to a school Near you -

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - After the shooting in Parkland Florida- school threats have become a reoccurring problem across the country. Here in Eastern Idaho, it's no different. 

In the past 24 hours, there have been a couple unverified threats targeting Blackfoot High School and the Idaho Falls School District 91.

Late last night, a parent got a mysterious postcard in the mail that had a vague reference to a weapon at a school. IFPD says there was no indication of a threat to a specific school or person. Ether way, if someone is caught making a dangerous message toward a school, what are the steps police and county prosecutors take to handle the situation?

"We know that with some of the things that happened nationally," Margaret Wimborne, the Director of Communication of D91 said. "Parents are very nervous and its a stressful time."

Once IFPD  got word, they took appropriate action.

"[A patrol officer] took the post card and took it to the post office," said Brian Smith, School Resource Officer.

They used the post office's help to track down who, when, and where the mail came from.

The postcard is still being investigated, but any threat like this is taken very seriously.

"Any threats anyone is making in this regard is going to be fully investigated by our law enforcement," said Daniel R. Clark, the Bonneville County Prosecution Attorney. "They're taking those very seriously and should a crime be committed by individuals, we will prosecute those cases fully."

According to Idaho, Statute Title 18; "Any person, including a student, who willfully threatens on school grounds by word or act to use a firearm or other deadly weapon to do violence to any other person on school grounds is guilty of a misdemeanor."

"It specifies what constitutes a threat against a school or those at the school and the crime that the level of crime that can be committed there," said Smith. "So it's taken very seriously and they're having to enact new laws to combat these things- these threats that are happening." 

Police and prosecutors say communication among parents is very important.

"I've got the school district on the phone too," said Smith. "Speaking with them, trying to keep everybody up to date so we all have the newest information." 

"Anytime you can let others know what's out there," said Clark. "Let people be aware of what's going on so that someone notices something or sees something can report that and it can be dealt with."

With threats like the postcard, police make sure their presence is known at schools, so students and parents can feel safe. That way they can make each threat a priority, no matter how unclear it might be.

Clark noted, "that people may have the right of free speech in this country, but when someone makes a specific threat to a school- that threat itself, is a crime."

 

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