A threatening note left in a bathroom at McPherson High School has prompted a number of parents to hold their children out of class today, despite assurances from both USD 418 and the McPherson Police Department that the threat wasn't credible.
McPherson Superintendent Mark Crawford wants to reassure parents that a thorough investigation is being conducted.
“We take these notes, these threats seriously and we're going to investigate and we're going to take all precautions necessary,” Crawford said. “That's just the new reality that we live in.”
The McPherson Police Department released a statement on Facebook stating that there are no credible threats at this time and that the note found did not specifically threaten individual students. The investigation is ongoing, however, but, due to the ages involved, they can't release any further information.
Crawford is thankful for the police department and their expertise as they look into the incident.
“We've been talking about it as a school board [hiring] a school resource officer,” Crawford said. “We want to continue to pursue that and just have that presence there at our schools and at our events.”
The only hitch in the response that Crawford saw was in the text message alert system. A text was sent out at 7 p.m. informing parents of the threat and that an investigation was underway, with extra police presence to be made available at both Tuesday's boys basketball game against Andale and today at the schoo.
A second text stating the police department had conducted an investigation and found no credible threat to the high school didn't go out as intended at 10 p.m.
“We've gone to an upgrade in our text message system and, evidently, we're still learning how to use the alert messaging system,” Crawford said. “It didn't allow us to send a message that late at night.”
Crawford says the district IT department has identified the issue and have fixed it for future usage, should it be needed.