Student arrested at Kelliher School
A male student at Kelliher School was arrested Tuesday morning, less than one day after a hit list and hand-drawn map were found at the school. The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office arrested the student, whose name and age are being withheld becau...
A male student at Kelliher School was arrested Tuesday morning, less than one day after a hit list and hand-drawn map were found at the school.
The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office arrested the student, whose name and age are being withheld because he is a juvenile, at about 10 a.m. Tuesday at the school, Sheriff Phil Hodapp said. He noted that the student, who was not armed, was interviewed Tuesday and admitted to writing the alleged threatened attack against students and staff at the school.
At about 4 p.m. Monday, a custodian found a note with a hit list naming 11 students and one staff member along with a hand-drawn map of the school, which could be interpreted as plans for a possible attack at the school, according to a press release from Kelliher School.
Hodapp said the note indicated the attack would take place Tuesday or Wednesday. After the note was discovered, staff and parents of students named on the list were notified. School staff also notified the parents of all the other students at the school of the possible threat, Hodapp added.
On Monday night, Principal Shelly DeJean told parents about the threat at a community meeting on school safety and long-range planning. At the meeting, a plan on how to address the threat was developed, said Hodapp, who had been invited to the meeting to discuss safety prior to the discovery of the note Monday.
Based on the threats made in the note, the school and the sheriff's office made arrangements to place two uniformed deputies inside the school Tuesday for the safety of students and staff, Hodapp said.
While school was held Tuesday, nearly half the student population was absent, Superintendent Terry Bartness said. Of the school's 254 students, 118 did not attend school. The school serves students in pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.
Besides placing two deputies at the school Tuesday, staff checked students' backpacks to make sure no weapons were brought into the building, Hodapp said. Also, parent volunteers were present to observe, access to the building was restricted and staff monitored movement in the building.
Due to the arrest, the heightened level of security at the school has been reduced, according to the school.
A uniformed deputy will remain at the school's front door through at least the end of the week. Also, the school has ordered additional technology to boost security measures as suggested Monday night at the community meeting.
Hodapp noted that school officials met with staff Tuesday morning about the situation. Then, he said, staff explained the situation to the students in an age-appropriate manner to curb fears they might have due to the presence of additional security.
Bartness praised the plan that was put in place Monday night.
"It was followed quite well," he said.
He added that he appreciated the dedicated work of parents, staff and the sheriff's office.
According to Hodapp, the investigation is ongoing with information being forwarded to the Beltrami County Attorney's Office for further action. Also, the school is moving forward with expulsion proceedings.