Law enforcement and school officials since Thursday have been investigating a threatening message written in a Libby Middle/High School boys room stall.
They have “a good idea” who might have left the message, following a review of security camera footage from outside the restroom, Superintendent Craig Barringer said Sunday night.
Authorities do not believe students are in danger, he said.
A student using the bathroom Thursday after school saw the message, photographed it and showed it to his parents, who reported it to the school, Barringer said.
A copy of the threatening message has not yet been provided to the The Western News.
Noting that the school district considers every threat credible, Barringer said it was immediately reported to law enforcement and has been under investigation since.
Though taking the threat seriously, officials decided it did not warrant closing the school or canceling homecoming activities, though they increased the law enforcement presence at the latter.
They also did not believe it warranted notifying the public.
“We did not make this decision light-heartedly,” Barringer said. “We did not want to create a sense of panic when there was no need for panic.”
Nonetheless, news about the threat spread on social media by Sunday afternoon. According to posts made to Facebook, students had been discussing it on the Snapchat app when one of them told a parent, who then started a discussion on the Facebook page “Libby and Troy’s Largest For Sale Site.”
In roughly four hours the post generated almost 350 comments. Many were from parents who said they were angry that they hadn’t been told about the threat and planned to keep their kids home from school on Monday.
Barringer said he understands parents’ concern and supports them doing what they believe is in their children’s best interest.
He also stressed the school district would never put anyone in a position of harm.
“If we thought that it was a threat that we didn’t have a handle on, we would not have school,” he said. “We have met with law enforcement multiple times. We believe school will be a safe place tomorrow.”
Barringer said that “behind the scenes, there are a lot of things going on” to ensure student and staff safety. He said law enforcement would be at the Middle/High School on Monday “until we resolve this issue.”
Despite the threat being contained to the Middle/High School, Barringer said precautions would also be taken at Libby Elementary School.
By noon Monday, parents could expect an “all call” notification of the situation’s status, he said.
Acknowledging how stressful situations like this can be, Barringer said it’s important to maintain, when possible, a sense of normalcy and routine for the benefit of students.