Posted: Dec 18, 2012 9:15 PM by MTN News
BILLINGS - In the wake of last week's horrific shootings in Oregon and Connecticut, posts threatening Billings students have surfaced on Facebook.
School District Two, along with the Billings Police Department and other agencies responded quickly, forming a plan of action when posts surfaced on Monday threatening a violent incident would happen on Friday. Details on the threats are not yet available.
Two male students have been identified as suspects and have been removed from school. Their names, grade level and which school they attend have not been released.
Police Chief Rich St. John said the threats don't seem to have merit, but the students may face criminal charges for the statements.
"Despite the fact that we have identified two people who we think are causing some of the fear and paranoia, the police department will increase its presence at all public schools for the rest of the week," explained Chief St. John. "With our maximum numbers on Friday."
Chief St. John added that the Yellostone County Sheriff's Office will be increasing their presence in county schools and the effort will be assisted by reserve officers and officers from MSU-Billings.
SD2 Superintendent Terry Bouck acknowledged some safety suggestions that have already been made by the community, saying that the district will do what it can to address the issue as promptly as possible; stressing the student safety is their number one priority.
"I've been getting a lot of emails from our parents and from community members, great suggestions and some of them we'll be looking at right after the school year resumes in January with the safety committee," Bouck stated. "Other ideas, like everything else, cost money. We got a lot of good ideas about security cameras, auto-locks, etc. We're going to address this and we're going to do this in an aggressive but thoughtful manner."
Emails were sent out to principals Tuesday, regarding protocol and extra safety measures the schools should be taking.
A robo-call went out Tuesday evening to parents to inform them of the incident.
If you have questions or concerns about your child's school, Supt. Bouck said your child's principal will be happy to visit with you.