Schools to re-open Thursday; letter to parents issued

Scott McDaniel Director of Technology Services

September 11, 2013



The following letter to parents is from Battle Ground School District administrators
(Spanish translation -- click here.)

September 11, 2013

Dear Parents,

As you know, a series of threats against students and staff at Chief Umtuch Middle School prompted the closure of five Battle Ground schools and cancellation of Community Education classes at those schools, Wednesday, September 11. The Battle Ground Police Department acted promptly to conduct a thorough investigation in collaboration with the FBI and Vancouver Police to identify the source of written messages that threatened students and staff. (Click "read more.")

District officials became aware of the threats last night and immediately called the police. The decision to close school on Wednesday was an extremely difficult one. It was made with thorough deliberation and collaboration among school principals, district officials, and the Battle Ground Police Department. We did not want to overreact, but, at the same time, we did not want to jeopardize in any way the safety of our kids. We believe closing school was the right thing to do and would make the same decision again given the same information.

Detectives from the Battle Ground Police Department conducted an interview of a 13 year old student from Chief Umtuch.  The suspect has been arrested for making the threats and his computer has been confiscated.  Officers have determined that the suspect did not possess the means to carry out any of the threats that were made. There is no evidence at this time to show that other suspects were involved. The case file will be forwarded to the Clark County Juvenile Prosecutor.

We are concerned about how students are feeling about threats and understand some may experience anxiety or concern about returning to school. It is important that our students feel safe at school and we want you to know we have counselors and administrative staff available to talk with students at any time.  We will make every effort to connect school counseling services to all students in need.

Thank you for your patience and understanding surrounding this difficult situation. We truly believe our schools are safe and look forward to seeing our students back in school tomorrow. We also believe Battle Ground is a place of great learning for all. May we now return to that positive learning environment.

 

Sincerely,

Battle Ground School District  Administrators