FBI, Local Police Investigate Threats To Flathead County Schools

Sep 14, 2017
Originally published on September 14, 2017 6:01 pm

Updated 6:40 p.m.

Flathead Valley schools will remain closed tomorrow due to an ongoing investigation into unspecified threats.

Just after 6 p.m. tonight Kalispell Superintendent Mark Flatau said all schools in the Flathead Valley will remain closed. That includes private schools.

Any extra-curricular activities or athletic events that would need to leave school campuses prior to 10:00 a.m. on Friday are also cancelled. After school activities will be considered on Friday if the situation changes. A decision will be made by 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says the initial threat, via text or email, was received by a Columbia Falls school Wednesday. Others schools received similar threats and classes were cancelled today.

The FBI along with law enforcement officers from Flathead County and the city of Columbia Falls are investigating. They believe this is a credible threat and are working to apprehend the suspect.

This closure includes all schools in the following districts:

  • Bigfork
  • Kalispell Public Schools
  • Cayuse Prairie
  • Helena Flats
  • Columbia Falls
  • Kila
  • Creston
  • Marion
  • Deer Park
  • Olney-Bissell
  • Evergreen
  • Pleasant Valley
  • Fair-Mont-Egan
  • Smith Valley
  • Somers/Lakeside
  • Swan River
  • Kalispell Montessori
  • West Glacier
  • St. Matthew’s
  • West Valley
  • Stillwater Christian
  • Whitefish
  • Trinity Lutheran
  • Whitefish Christian Academy
  • Woodland Montessori

Police in the Flathead Valley are investigating several threats that led to the cancellation of classes at more than two dozen public and private schools there.

Flathead County Superintendent of Schools Jack Eggensperger says school administrators are waiting to hear from law enforcement on how to proceed.

“If we are notified before 6 o’clock that they have terminated the threat and they have the suspect in custody, then we will go ahead with school tomorrow, but if we don’t receive notification from the sheriff’s department, then school will be cancelled,” Eggensperger said.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says the initial threat, via text or email, was received by a Columbia Falls school yesterday. Others schools received similar threats and classes were cancelled today.

Curry says investigators were interviewing some "persons of interest" and following up on what he called electronically stored information. He added that he had no information leading him to believe there was an immediate public threat.

The FBI along with law enforcement officers from Flathead County and the city of Columbia Falls are investigating.

The closures include schools in Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Evergreen, Kalispell and Whitefish, along with private schools and Flathead Valley Community College.

The threats began hours after a high school student in a town southeast of Spokane, Washington, shot and killed a fellow student and injured three others.

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