Wood River High School was on “heightened alert” Wednesday following a threatening post made by a student on social media the previous evening, the School District said.
That’s after students alerted staff to a suspicious Snapchat image during an on-campus volleyball game Tuesday night. The image showed what appeared to be a revolver posted by a 15-year-old Wood River student, with a message:
“Don’t come to school tomorrow,” the post read.
Staff tipped the Hailey Police Department, which launched an inquiry around 7:40 p.m. Tuesday. Upon investigation, it turned out to be an Airsoft gun—basically, a toy—owned by a 16-year-old student.
Police were able to locate the student behind the post, and the owner of the Airsoft gun, Assistant Police Chief Steve England told the Idaho Mountain Express. Both students, as well as the poster’s parents, cooperated with law enforcement, England said.
At 10:30 p.m., investigators were satisfied that the post did not represent a “legitimate” threat to the school or its students.
Still, the department deployed extra officers in and around the campus Wednesday morning, plus patrol vehicles in the neighborhoods nearby.
“We want to reiterate that there is no credible threat at this time and hope parents have confidence that their children will be safe at the schools within the City of Hailey,” the Hailey Police Department said on its Facebook page Wednesday morning.
Its investigation was wrapped up Wednesday afternoon. The department is working with the county’s juvenile prosecutor to consider misdemeanor charges against the student, England said.
“The biggest thing, is that people saw the post, and got on reporting it,” he said. “If you see something, say something. If it turns out to be nothing, so be it—but we want to get on any tip quickly, and nip it in the bud.”
Just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, the School District told parents of the case—and notified them that classes would continue as usual.
“Students reported it quickly, and we were able to act on it quickly,” district Communications Director Heather Crocker told the Idaho Mountain Express. “Everyone cooperated to work through this. As always, our top priority is our students’ safety.”
Crocker did not say more about the investigation, though she did say that Tuesday night’s case was unrelated to an incident earlier in the day at Hemingway STEAM School, in which a student brought a knife into the building. That was handled by staff without incident, according to Hemingway Principal Tish Short, who had notified parents Tuesday afternoon.
This is the second time this year that Hailey police have been dispatched to sniff out a possible threat against a Blaine County school. In April, cops came in to investigate a suspicious note listing guns and ammunition at Wood River Middle School. It came to nothing; both the student who wrote the note and the one who reported it confessed to planting the potential threat as a way to get out of class. Neither student was charged with a crime.
At Wood River High School, Wednesday “looked like business as usual,” Crocker said.
“Just students being students—it was good to see.”