Battle Mountain High School officials serious about violence threats | VailDaily.com

Battle Mountain High School officials serious about violence threats

EDWARDS — Local school district officials and law enforcement say they're serious about four anonymous threats of violence toward Battle Mountain High School.

They're also calling for calm amid misinformation and copycatting floating around social media.

Two more violence threats

On Friday, Battle Mountain staff members found two messages written on the floor of Battle Mountain High School. One of these messages communicated a threat of violence for a specific date but was not directed to any specific individuals. The other was a suicide note.

“While it is known that a date was specified in the threat, we are taking action to not assume it to be isolated to that day.”Rob ParishBattle Mountain High School principal

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On Tuesday afternoon, two more messages were found in the school. One was similar to Friday's threat message; the other appears to be a copycat, school district officials said.

"While it is known that a date was specified in the threat, we are taking action to not assume it to be isolated to that day," said Rob Parish, Battle Mountain's principal. "There are certain security steps that we can share with families and others that we are doing behind the scenes, which if known, would impact their effectiveness. We are acting on the situation with extreme seriousness."

Increased security

The Eagle County Sheriff's Office, other local police agencies and school officials are evaluating the messages, handwriting, security tapes and every lead and tip.

As a precaution, the Eagle County Sheriff's Office has added deputies to patrol the school and surrounding area. The school district hired Lone Star Security to add armed security at the school and at other events through the end of the school year, school officials said.

Eagle County Schools and the Sheriff's Office said they are also investigating a number of inaccurate social media posts that have been circulating since Friday.

A Snapchat picture circulated Tuesday afternoon of a police vehicle outside the school. Comments made on that Snapchat post about the content of the messages found at the school on Tuesday afternoon are not accurate, school district officials said.

"We will continue to do everything we can in order to ensure the utmost safety and security of our students and community members," Sheriff James Van Beek said. "We are asking our community for their assistance in identifying the suspect or suspects associated with these threats."

So far, so good

So far, school has run fairly normally. Prom went as scheduled Saturday and athletic events and other events have been running this week.

The school district has been sending updates to Battle Mountain families. The school district will post updates to its website each day and communicate with Battle Mountain.

Battle Mountain administrators and district officials have been deluged with emails from parents and concerned citizens offering advice, suggestions for investigative techniques and general feedback. Every message is being read and considered, they said.

However, they said they cannot immediately respond to all of the emails and calls right away.

"We're working hard to maintain a productive learning environment throughout these last weeks of the school year. We appreciate the support of law enforcement, our community and, most importantly, the staff of Battle Mountain High School, who have worked tirelessly since last Friday to bring this situation to a safe and positive resolution," said Jason Glass, superintendent of Eagle County Schools.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

How you can help

• Refer all credible information to school administration.

• Talk to children about appropriate use of social media and ask them to refrain from creating and distributing social media posts about this situation.

• Call Crime Stoppers at 970-328-8500 or Eagle County Crime Stoppers at 970-328-7007, 1-800-972-TIPS, submit your tip online at http://www.tipsubmit.com, or text a tip from your cell phone by texting STOPCRIME plus your message to CRIMES.