Two students charged in connection with Oct. 5 incident at East Middle School
Great Falls Police have charged two students with criminal disorderly conduct stemming from an incident at East Middle School on Oct. 5.
GFPD said Wednesday that it had received a report of a possible threat at East Middle School on Oct. 5 and the Great Falls Public Schools administration and the school resource officer at East “took swift action and identified a suspect,” according to a GFPD release.
The initial investigation confirmed a student had made threatening statements toward another student, “and though the student did not have the means to carry out the threats, the suspect student was removed from the school,” according to the GFPD.
“As a precaution, multi-tiered security measures (in addition to the standard safety precautions that GFPS and the GFPD already have in place) were activated for the following school day,” according to the GFPD release.
A parent of a student involved, who is running for City Commission, posted to social media expressing his displeasure with the response from GFPD and GFPS and suggested parents should keep their kids home from school.
GFPD posted a statement regarding the investigation and said sharing misinformation was dangerous.
Detectives continued their investigation and interviewed several other students who were present when the threatening statements were made, according to GFPD.
“Detectives further discovered that, as two students bantered back and forth, both of them threatened violence with weapons against each other. The statements were grossly inappropriate,” according to GFPD.
Both students were criminally charged with disorderly conduct, btu state law does not allow police to arrest the students.
The case has been referred to Youth Court Services, where the cases are often sealed from public view because of the age of those involved.
GFPS may also take administrative action against the students for the incident based on district policies.
“Detectives are confident they have reached the root of the information and this situation has been resolved,” according to the GFPD release. “GFPD and GFPS always take threats of this nature seriously and will act as swiftly as possible, within the bounds of legal authority. There is no reason to believe EMS is not a safe setting for students and staff. We understand a significant number of students did not attend school today; we look forward to welcoming them back tomorrow.”