SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah (ABC4 News) – An increased police presence at some schools in Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain due to a threat of a school shooting at Westlake High School.
An email and automated voice message was sent out Friday morning to parents with kids who attend schools in the area. The message included information of the threat and precautions schools and police are taking.
Listen to the message here—>
The email below was sent to Frontier Middle School parents which is close to Westlake High School:
When ABC4 talked to Alpine School District officials they said a student brought a weapon to school Monday, but they don’t believe there is a threat any longer. They said police are on campus Friday as a precaution.
This week, the Alpine School District had to deal with two separate issues.
“At no time did we feel there was a threat to the school, or to the students or employees at the high school,” said Kimberly Bird, a spokesperson for the district.
But the two incidents at Westlake High School set off alarms with parents.
Laura Carter got one of those texts that was circulating throughout Saratoga Springs.
“This girl is bringing a gun, she’s going to shoot everybody,” said Carter as she read the text. “I wouldn’t go to school if I was you on Friday.”
After the Las Vegas massacre Sunday night, these types of threats are happening in at least in five states. In Las Vegas, a teen was arrested for allegedly making threats of a school shooting on social media.
“When things like this happen in the news that involve weapons, when you see a media posting or your child gets a text ‘hey is something going to happen at school today’ the alarm bells go off,” said Bird.
On Monday, the district said a teen brought a weapon to Westlake. It wasn’t until the next day that a parent of one of the students who saw the weapon, notified the school. The district said ‘see something, say something’ kind of worked.
“I believe that it did, but a little bit late,” said Bird. “I’m glad you’re bringing up that because we’ve got to do a better job of that.”
The district said police told them it wasn’t an intentional threat. She said the student was just showing off the weapon. But Bird said possible charges are pending and the student also faces disciplinary action for bringing a weapon to school.
But by mid-week there was chatter on social media of another threat, a possible shooting on Friday.
The district notified parents using its Skyward alert system that it was a hoax. Parents in the district sign up for Skyward and the district will either email, text or call about information parents need to know. In addition to Skyward alerts, neighboring middle schools sent out a letter to parents.
On Good 4 Utah’s web site, many parents posted that they did receive the message others didn’t.
Laura carter got the message Friday morning after sending her son to school.
That email needs to be sent so that we’re aware, that they’re aware,” said Carter. “Otherwise it’s not safe for us to send our children to school.”
Bird said their Skyward alerts are prioritized. In this case she said alerts were first sent to the parents of Westlake High School because the school was targeted. She said after that neighboring schools were sent alerts even though they were not affected.