District alerts parents about threat at school

February 14, 2017

BULLHEAD CITY — Parents were notified Sunday by Colorado River Schools District Administration officials of a threat made against Desert Valley Elementary School students.

District officials were not available Monday for comment.

The text and automated phone messages distributed by the district to staff and parents stated the threat was written on a girl’s bathroom stall and discovered Thursday by school officials.

The text of the notification, obtained by the Daily News, read in part, “The Colorado River Schools District Administration would like to inform parents and staff that Desert Valley Elementary School administration discovered writing on a bathroom stall used by 3rd, 4th and 5th grade girls stating ‘I will kill everybody on V-Day.’?”

The notification also informed parents the matter was turned over to the police department for investigation, along with a list of students who had used the rest room at the time the writing was believed to have occurred.

No classes have been cancelled due to the threat.

“(Police) have interviewed students and staff concerning the matter,” the statement continued. “We are always concerned about the safety of all students and have professionals in place to work with the child who wrote the message and any other child or adult who has concerns about their safety at school.

“We take all circumstances like this very seriously and will continue working with the police department as necessary. However, we do not presently have any evidence suggesting that children will be unsafe at any of our schools on this day or any other.”

Police confirmed school officials contacted the department Thursday after discovering the message.

“Bullhead City Police Department is investigating and police officers will be on campus (today) to ensure the students are safe,” said Emily Fromelt, department spokeswoman.

Officials did not say how many additional officers would be assigned to the school. A school resource officer is typically assigned to all schools in the Colorado River Union High School District and Bullhead City Elementary School District.

The incident is the second threatening message at a Bullhead City school since the first of the year.

On Jan. 10, police increased their presence at Mohave High School in response to a threatening message written on a bathroom wall. The specific threat contained in the message was not released to the public.

Word of the threat went viral on social media and many parents said they were upset the district did not notify them of the threat.

In a statement released at the time, Colorado River Union High School District officials said, “The threat was of a type, unfortunately, routinely made to our schools and others… Had [police] deemed it credible, they and the district would have taken immediate action in regards to classes.”

Attendance at Mohave High School on Jan. 10 was “noticeably down” because of the threat, according to CRUHSD Supt. Riley Frei.

No incidents were reported that day.

Bullhead City Police Chief Brian Williamson said increased police presence at a school is not a new response to threats, and that the department has in the past increased police presence at schools when needed.

“It is extremely important to the police department to provide as safe of an environment as possible at our schools,” he said. We have an excellent working relationship with the schools and have worked together many times to conduct investigations and adjust operations to meet this goal… The police department has the challenge of assessing these threats and taking the appropriate action that will provide as safe of an environment as possible with as minimal disruption as is practical.”