According to communications from school and district administrators sent on Tuesday, March 5th, Twin Falls Middle School received two bomb threats early this week, which administrators and police said were determined to be hoaxes.
In a March 5th email to parents, TFMS Principal Jeff D’Ambrosio explained the first anonymous bomb threat was received on a student’s phone via AirDrop, Monday afternoon, March 4th. That threat was reported by the student and police and school officials began investigating that evening.
According to D’Ambrosio, as school was starting Tuesday morning – and while the School Resource Officer was on campus helping with the investigation – “a student came into the office to confess posting a threatening message from his cell phone and that it was a hoax.” Other students were interviewed, who confirmed the message was a hoax.
According to KCSO Sgt. Ryan Abbott, “The first threat was done by two students who admitted they had done it as a prank. They were both expelled by the school.” Abbott said detectives interviewed both students and parents and determined it was not a credible threat.
Tuesday evening, March 5th, SVSD Superintendent Rob Manahan, sent another letter to Twin Falls MS parents explaining that a second ‘copycat’ threat was reported by a student – also received on a cell phone via AirDrop – Tuesday afternoon. Sgt. Abbott confirmed the second threat received was also a bomb threat.
According to Manahan, “After the student reported this new threat, law enforcement was notified again. Both the Snoqualmie-North Bend Police Department and King County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived at Twin Falls quickly. While it was agreed that the second threat was also not credible, a specialized bomb unit from Seattle with bomb-sniffing dogs was in route to sweep the building.”
Manahan explained that law enforcement arrived as students were being dismissed for the day and searched lockers, common areas and the building’s perimeter. Nothing of any suspicious nature was found. He said police also spoke with parents and students involved in the original threat, and determined there was no need for further investigation.
In that letter to parents Superintendent Manahan stated, “We have concerns about additional copycat behaviors that may occur and would ask that you speak with your son or daughter about the seriousness and ramifications of these kinds of behaviors, as well as the importance of not perpetuating, re-sharing, or copying threats. Students who do so will be held responsible and will be subject to discipline as outlined in District Policy and Procedures.”
Both D’Ambrosio and Manahan said the district takes these threats very seriously and student safety is their top priority.
Sgt. Abbott commented, “We believe that all students are safe and both of the threats were not legitimate.”