BEND, OR -- Bend Police are stepping up patrols around Mountain View High School, Tuesday morning, following a rumored threat made on social media.
According to a letter sent to parents from Principal Katie Legace (below), several students came forward to report they had either seen first-hand or had heard of a statement made online about a rumored shooting planned to take place Tuesday. Police officials confirm they are investigating the rumor.
Mountain View High School families,
Several responsible students came to us, family members and law enforcement tonight to report that they had either seen first-hand, or heard of, a statement made on social media about a rumored shooting planned to take place tomorrow at our school. School staff, district officials and Bend Police Department officers and detectives were notified immediately and have been working into the night to find the source of the rumor. At this time, law enforcement is investigating the alleged threat.
We are reaching out to our school community with this email tonight because we want to find the student or students responsible and hold them accountable for disrupting our educational community in this way. Be assured that we are also taking steps to ensure the safety of our students and staff, which will include a temporary increase in police presence on campus. I also want to add that we absolutely will not tolerate copy cats of this situation. Anyone found making any type of a threat to any of our schools will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Please encourage your students to contact the non-emergency line at 541.693.6911 or our text-to-tip phone/text number at 541.600.4267 at any time tonight to share information they may have about the alleged threat or persons who may be responsible.
We believe that by working together with our staff, students and parents, we can expedite the investigation and help control rumors about the situation.
A safe community for students, parents and staff is important to us!
Thank you for your support, Cougar community.
Principal, Mountain View High School
UPDATE: Bend Police Chief Jim Porter talked with KBND News about the incident, Tuesday morning. He says the district and the school immediately notified law enforcement, after receiving reports of the rumor from students. "We worked with them in a partnership to try to resolve the rumor; try to find the end of the rumor. We immediately assigned our Detectives Division, along with some of our Special Operations people and School Resource Officers, to chasing down the rumor. And, we’ve been working on this since yesterday mid-afternoon, through the night and early this morning."
He was unable to release many details, as the investigation continues, "How hard is it to run down these rumors? It’s very, very difficult; and today, in the age of social media where everybody has half a dozen apps that they communicate with on their cell phones, it’s very challenging. And, it takes time and it’s resource-intensive."
Chief Porter stresses this is only a rumor, at this point, "There’s not what we call probable cause, or reason to believe there is an action plan in place. That does not mean we’re slowing down our investigation; it does not mean that we’re pulling our resources back. We’re not only deploying our resources to Mountain View school, we’re also deploying resources – and when I say resources (I mean) officers – to the other high schools." He adds, "We’re also leveraging other law enforcement agencies inside the area to be prepared and, when I say that, that sends shockwaves through people. But, I think they’d rather I over prepare than under prepare and that’s what we’re doing." Classes are in session, although one parent tells KBND News, the homecoming assembly scheduled for Tuesday morning was canceled and attendance appears to be down.
Porter says it's important that students and parents cooperate with the investigation, "We can resolve the issues of any crimes broken, later. Up front, we need to resolve issues if there’s an immediate threat because, God knows, we have seen enough school shootings in this country to know that these are not hollow threats."
To hear our full conversation with Bend Police Chief Jim Porter, click HERE or visit our Podcast Page.