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Clearbrook-Gonvick student suspended after death threat

A Clearbrook-Gonvick junior high student has been suspended from school and charged in juvenile court for allegedly making a death threat against a fellow student.

Because of his age, court authorities wouldn't reveal the charge. The suspension is for at least three days, School Superintendent Al Ralston said.

The student was removed from the K-12 school located in Clearbrook by the school's resource officer, who is a Clearwater County deputy, after admitting to threatening a fellow student.

"We're very sensitive to this type of thing because of our close proximity (30 miles) to Red Lake," Ralston said, referring to the 2005 school shooting that left 10 dead. "We're hypersensitive to it."

Some parents were upset because the school didn't go into lockdown and because they weren't notified of the incident Wednesday. Ralston said a lockdown wasn't needed because of the circumstances.

"We called in the student immediately after the threat, and he never left our sight," Ralston said. "He admitted to making the threat. He was taken out of the building in a relatively short period of time. The threat was directed at one student, not the school. If it was directed at the school, then a lockdown would have been appropriate."

The threat came during the last hour of the school day. No weapons were found after a search that included sniffer dogs.

"We feel it was handled appropriately," Ralston said.

The charged juvenile is an open-enrollee from Red Lake. Parents voiced whether there were ways of screening open-enrolled students. Ralston said previous schools are required to report problems, but state rules say it takes an expulsion to be able to deny entrance. This student hadn't been kicked out of his previous school, nor did he have significant problems there, Ralston said.

But, Ralston said, a school is not informed if an open-enrollee has had legal issues. "All we know about is what has happened in the previous school," he said.