TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Following several threats to schools across the Magic Valley, the Twin Falls School District shared their plans on how they would handle a similar situation.
For these types of incidents, the responses can vary depending on the circumstances, such as the time of day. If a threat were to be made the night before school, it can be investigated, and if found not to be serious, it will not impact the following school day. If a threat were to come in during the morning or midday, it could prompt a lockdown at the specific school.
One of the immediate actions taken by the district is to have an open line of communication with the Twin Falls Police Department.
“We have school resource officers at every single one of our secondary schools, and then those same officers cover neighboring elementary schools as well," said Eva Craner, the Public Information Officer for the Twin Falls School District. "So, we have law enforcement on our campuses, basically at all times.”
Communication with parents is also key during such scenarios, and school officials have a notification system in place called PowerSchool. The district encourages parents who may not be receiving notices to reach out.
“A really great thing to do is check-in with your child’s school secretary and make sure that your contact information is right in PowerSchool," said Craner. "That’s what we’ll use, we use your phone number and email address, and we also have a text messaging option now.”
In the event of a school evacuation, the district also has rally points arranged where students will gather.
“We just ask that parents, if there is a situation like that, pay attention to those messages that come from the school district because they’ll give instructions on where, when, and how they can pick up their child from school,” said Craner.
With threats having happened across the state this week, the Twin Falls School District encourages parents to discuss appropriate social media usage with students. If a threat is found, an adult should be notified.
“The best thing to do is not to take a screenshot of it and start sharing it, because that just kind of heightens the miscommunication and misunderstanding," said Craner, "The best thing to do is to immediately report it to law enforcement or a school official.”