Student makes fake threat against Steamboat Springs Middle School
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A concerning threat made Monday night by a student at Steamboat Springs Middle School got the attention of the CIA and local law enforcement.
On Tuesday, the Routt County Sheriff’s Office and Steamboat Springs Police Department identified and made contact with the student before school began. The student admitted to making a threat against the school through a federal agency’s website as a joke.
Law enforcement concluded that the threat, in which the student claimed they would shoot up the middle school, was fake.
“It has been determined that our students were never in any danger,” Steamboat Springs Superintendent Dr. Brad Meeks said in a message sent out to parents and students Tuesday.
Undersheriff Doug Scherar said the student was doing a civics project that required using the CIA’s website. Through that site, the student sent the threat directed toward the middle school to CIA officials.
“It wasn’t a credible threat,” Scherar said. “They just wanted to see what happened.”
By Tuesday morning, the CIA had notified the Steamboat Springs Police Department about the potential threat.
“The student was very forthcoming and admitted to it,” Scherar said.
A detective from the Sheriff’s Office evaluated the student’s mental health on Tuesday and sent a report to the Routt County District Attorney’s Office to determine if any charges should be filed against the student.
Superintendent Meeks could not disclose any disciplinary action that the middle school would take, but he stressed the severity of the student’s actions.
“It’s certainly something that is a suspendable or expellable offense,” he said.
Meeks praised the coordination between the CIA and local law enforcement.
“It gives me a lot of confidence when these types of threats are taken seriously no matter where these threats are made,” he said.
Scherar emphasized that law enforcement takes any threat, even one meant as a joke, seriously.
“We treat all threats as if they are credible until we have proven otherwise,” he said.
Issuing a false threat is also a federal crime.
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