UPDATE: The Pocatello Police report that a 15-year-old male was arrested Wednesday night in connection with threats made to students at Highland High School. He has been charged with two counts of telephone harassment and one count of threatening violence on school grounds.
POCATELLO — Access in and out of Highland High School in Pocatello was closely monitored Wednesday after an anonymous tip was received.
A suspect is now in custody and is being held at the juvenile detention center.
A post on Facebook alluded to someone bringing a gun “to school Friday and kill all the girls.” District officials said they couldn’t confirm that the post prompted the action. The post was a screenshot of a text message from a smartphone that detailed an individual’s plan to inflict harm upon students. The texts went on to single out an individual student.
The user that was associated with the text used the same Twitter handle from which multiple Highland High School students — mostly girls — were being repeatedly harassed. One Tweet associated with the user threatened to harm President Barack Obama. Another contained racist remarks about black people.
Shelley Allen, community relations and communications specialist with Pocatello/Chubbuck School District No. 25, says that the reason for the controlled access is not being disclosed at this time because it is still under investigation.
A Journal reporter went to the school and spoke to a resource officer there who said that officials are just more closely monitoring who is entering the building and that they are limiting the students being able to walk in the halls between classes.
Allen did say that an anonymous tip had been received but could not disclose what that tip was. It is not clear how the tip was received.
The school district officials were working with local law enforcement, which is standard when dealing with any safety concern at a local school.
“We taken every concern seriously, so just as a precaution we’re controlling access in and out of the building.”
Allen says she understands parents’ concerns and that the parents will be notified when the controlled access is lifted.
“We always overprotect,” she says.
The controlled access to the high school has now been cleared, and Highland students will resume classes as usual tomorrow, according to a Wednesday night press release. Counselors are available for students needing emotional support.