Altercation prompts gun rumors at PRLHS
Bonner County Daily Bee
Posted: Friday, Mar 14, 2008 - 09:06:42 am PDT
By NICK IVIE
Hagadone News Network
Interesting comments at the site.
PRIEST RIVER - A suspected gun threat at Priest River Lamanna High School was quickly downgraded in the wake of rumors of possible problems Thursday.After an off-campus altercation over the weekend sent a teenager to the hospital for stitches, fears spread of possible retaliation. A few parents opted to keep students home until the situation was resolved.
Threats of guns and knives escalated to the point where a student was reportedly carrying a type of pottery cleaning tool for protection. Reports of the threats spread through e-mails and text messages Wednesday evening, even disrupting the scheduled school board meeting.
Some students at the school felt the incident may have ties to last month's suicide death of a local teenager.
“They think he killed himself because of the jocks and the way everyone picked on him,” said one student. “The ‘jocks' and ‘emos' were going to have a fight today, then one kid supposedly had a gun and some others had knives so they're all staying in their classrooms.”
“Emo” typically refers to an expressive genre of rock music. Fans of such bands are also known for their distinctive style of dress and grooming habits.
The deceased teen was not a student at PRLHS for the last year and was working at a local mill at the time of his death.
West Bonner County Superintendent Mike McGuire said staff has been dealing with the friction between the students.
“We have been emphasizing that the students let go of this because it doesn't honor his life,” he said. “We hadn't realized how far just a few students were taking their beliefs and it just got crazy last night. There was a real fear between adults and students alike and we did everything we could to ease the fear.”
McGuire said PRLHS Principal Brad Madison met with staff after school and additional security measures will be continued.
The small group of students are not in school at present, but according to McGuire, are not suspended either. It was thought best on all parts that they stay away from school grounds, he added.
McGuire emphasized the situation stems from a small number of students and the district will not tolerate fear ruining the rest of the school year for others.
He stressed that no weapons were found on the school premises.
“There might be a lot of upcoming discipline to squash what is going on. All this drama is not good for anyone and we will respond appropriately,” McGuire said.