A 14-year-old girl has been charged with initiating a false report for reporting a possible threat of violence at Linus Pauling Middle School, according to the Corvallis Police Department.
Police arrested the girl about 3 p.m. Thursday and took her to the Linn-Benton Juvenile Detention Center. She faces an additional charge of disorderly conduct. The girl is a Linus Pauling student.
The school district reported earlier Thursday that a Linus Pauling Middle School student had received a message indicating a possible threat. The student reported receiving the message on social media Wednesday night, according to a post on Linus Pauling’s website written by Principal Alicia Ward-Satey. The student informed her parent, who called the school district.
The district contacted police, who immediately began investigating the matter. Classes continued as usual Thursday at Linus Pauling, but the district’s resource officer and additional officers were present. The school also required all students, staff and visitors to enter through one door at the main entrance.
The message was reported to include a vague threat regarding an active shooter and did not mention a specific school, said Corvallis School District Assistant Superintendent Kevin Bogatin.
“There is obviously a heightened sense of these kinds of threats right now in the country, so we wanted to take extra precautions as we moved into the school day,” he said.
Police eventually determined the student who claimed to have received the threat was the source of the social media post that she claimed the alleged threat came from. Police said the student had reported receiving the threatening message via Snapchat, an image messaging application for smartphones.
Bogatin said the school alerted parents of the possible threat about 10:30 a.m. Thursday using a listserv messaging system. He said the district’s email server has been down, so the district’s ability to communicate with parents has been intermittent.
He encouraged students and families to report all safety concerns and suspicious activities to the Oregon State Police’s SafeOregon tip line. Students and others can make a report online at http://safeoregon.com/report-a-tip/ or via email at email@example.com. They can also use the SafeOregon app or call 844-472-3367.
“We take all these (tips) really, really seriously,” Bogatin said. “We don’t take that information lightly at all.”