Bomb threat against Idaho schools raises concerns, deemed non-credible

Police inform citizens of a non-credible threat.
Posted at 10:15 PM, Nov 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 00:15:08-05

One parent to two students at West Ada School District received an email from the district this afternoon that he says was upsetting.

"The email was basically, 'Hey, the school could have gotten blown up yesterday, but it didn't,'" said Justin Evans, parent of students in a West Ada School District establishment.

The email contained words from law enforcement officers, which read:

"Yesterday law enforcement agencies received an information bulletin involving a low-level statewide bomb threat. The threat was generic and non-specific to towns or cities. The 'deadline' for the detonation has long passed.  The credibility of the threat was not verified and no additional information was provided."

This-- leaving Evans with questions.

"The 'detonation deadline has passed?' And we're scratching our heads thinking, well why didn't they tell us this beforehand," said Evans. "And we know it's not credible-- well, how do you know it's not credible? What exactly was done to make us feel more comfortable that our kids are safe?"

6 On Your Side talked to local police to find out more on how they established the threat non-credible. The threat allegedly first reported to law enforcement agencies on Tuesday.

"This threat also had the request that something be aired on the media-- specific information aired on the media, and so that kind of tells us that this is somebody just looking to get a reaction," said Lieutenant Stokes.

Eric Exline, Chief Communications Officer at West Ada School District, found out about the threat on a news publication from Eastern Idaho Wednesday morning-- and chose to take action.

"When I saw that I knew, ultimately, I would be sending something out-- because parents are gonna start reading about it and wondering well, what happened? And why didn't you tell us anything about?" said 

So when he called local police to learn more, they divulged what was eventually put in the email. Lieutenant Stokes explains that dealing with threats like this can be tricky.

"There is nothing there. Nothing. And often times it can create unnecessary worry or concern."

But, in any case, he says if you see something-- say something.

"Suspicious circumstances-- anything like that, they should call us and let us deal with that," said Lieutenant Stokes.

Law enforcement is careful about who they inform-- when it comes to non-credible, non-specific threats-- as they want to avoid public panic or public denial in later cases where a threat is actually legitimate, according to Lieutenant Stokes.