Missoula Police officers say two middle-school-aged boys were cited for writing hreats on a bathroom wall inside Hellgate Middle School. School officials tell NBC Montana that the threats were discovered on Tuesday, and that they contained specific threats against two students, and a bomb threat. Officers tell NBC Montana the cited students are the same ones named in the threats.
Officers say the students are cited with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. Superintendent Doug Reisig tells NBC Montana the students were caught after an analysis of handwriting samples and school logs used by students when they gain permission to leave classrooms.
Reisig tells NBC Montana the students have been placed on a ten-day suspension, but he expects that before the period is up, he will have decided whether to recommend the kids for expulsion.
Parents whose kids went to school on Wednesday reported to NBC Montana that many students had been kept home, and were absent from class.
School officials tell NBC Montana that an automatic alert put phone calls out to parents after the threats were discovered. Some parents tell NBC Montana that they didn’t receive the alerts. Reisig tells NBC Montana that may be because of outdated records, as the district has about 90 new students this year, and some of the contact info may not be updated yet. Reisig says district staff are working to get the records up to speed.
Police officers had looked into a similar graffiti-threat at Big Sky High School in Missoula last week, though no citations have been given out and that investigation is ongoing.