SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Three separate threats of school violence were reported over Veterans Day weekend in Springfield, police said.
Police said they take all threats of violence seriously and investigated the reports, which involved Briggs Middle School, Thurston Middle School and Hamlin Middle School.
The first threat happened Friday evening, police said students waiting at the Briggs Middle School bus stop overheard another student threatening to “shoot up the school on Tuesday.”
Officers interviewed a number of students and tracked down the involved students. They have referred the case to the juvenile youth authority.
An off-duty police officer reported the second threat after he was contacted by a friend whose son received a Snapchat photo and message from a classmate at Thurston Middle School.
The photo showed an AR-15-style rifle with the text “don’t go to school tomorrow.”
Police said they investigated the report and arrested an eighth-grader for first-degree disorderly conduct. Officers said the student admitted to sending the message but said it was “just a joke.”
Officers located the gun, which was an AirSoft rubber pellet rifle.
Police said the thrid threat was reported when a mother of a Hamlin Middle School student called police after someone told her son over the video game platform Fortnite that a female student was going to “shoot up the school” the following day.
Although officers interviewed several youths regarding the threat, they were unable to track down the original source of the threat or verify its authenticity.
Police and school district officials are taking extra precautions.
Anyone with additional information should contact Springfield police at 541-726-3714.
Police ask that parents remind their children that making threats of violence is serious, and it is a crime to verbally threaten violence with the intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm. If students hear threats, they should report the incidents to parents, school officials and the police.