Safety in the school system

School district shuts down shooting threats


Clay Stone

An Adams Middle School student sits in a near-empty classroom. On Nov. 25, only seven students attended this class. "I was a little nervous, but I figured it was a dry threat," said eighth-grader Allison Einspahr.

After starting this school year with an uneventful first term, the North Platte School District has avoided two threats in the span of about a month. A threatening note was found in Adams Middle School on the boys bathroom wall during a school week in late November. On Friday, Dec. 6, Madison Middle School cancelled a dance on the basis of a rumored shooting threat.

Superintendent Ron Hanson said the safety and security of our students, staff, and the families we serve are of utmost importance. “At no time do I take a threat to our schools lightly.” 

The North Platte Police Department (NP PD) arrested one individual connected with the shooting threat at Adams, and they also exposed the Madison threat as a hoax. Hanson praised the work of the NP PD in shutting down the rumors on social media and keeping the school district safe.

“It is reassuring to know that the problem was safely handled, and we are past this obstacle.””

— Ron Hanson

But two “threats” in this small of a time frame should raise some questions for students and parents. What can we do to avoid this happening again? Both the middle schools and high school have undergone security changes over the last few years. But Hanson gave several different ideas for how to continue the safety of the school district to go hand-in-hand with the new safety measures. 

Hanson encourages all students, staff, and family members to download the app called “See it, Say it, Send it” in case they ever need to get in touch with law enforcement anonymously. “If you suspect an unsafe issue, this is the quickest and most reliable way to report it,” said Hanson.

Another idea is to go to the staff or administration when you hear about a problem or experience a problem first-hand. The administration is there for the main reason of securing the safety of students and staff. “I never want to jeopardize the people we serve and will continuously act on the side of caution,” Hanson said.

Clay Stone
In mid-November, one Adams Middle School student was arrested for threatening to bring a gun to school one day. November 25th, the day in question, attendance levels dropped significantly. “It felt really weird, showing up and not seeing many people,” said eighth-grader Macie Freeze.

Hanson says that the biggest precautionary measure that students can take is not spreading rumors on social media. Even if you have an opinion or you heard something you think might be true, telling it to social media fuels the fire, but telling the authorities or the school helps extinguish it and helps make the staff aware.

“By far, the biggest win for this situation is that none of our students, staff, or families were harmed, and that the investigation was completed with the greatest of care,” said Hanson.