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Superintendent releases information regarding an alleged threat to the school

Rumors of a perceived threat at the school had Perham-Dent School Superintendent Mitch Anderson releasing a statement regarding the situation, which started circulating on social media earlier in the week. The statement was delivered to district parents Thursday. It reads: 

It came to our attention at the high school that there has been some "discussion among students" about potential safety issues and school violence involving students at Perham High School.  I am sure that this has caused some worry and I wanted to let you know how we responded, and continue to address the situation.  It's important to know that we take all student safety concerns very seriously, and are working with local law enforcement to investigate this and every similar situation. 

As comments and concerns surfaced from students in the high school, our first action was to contact students directly identified.  A series of meetings were scheduled with those students, their parents/guardians, school administration, and local law enforcement.  The Perham Police Department were present the entire day to assist with questioning. At no point during our investigation today did we ever feel our student body was ever under threat.  Had we felt differently, I can assure you that appropriate action would have been taken to address that threat. 

I completely understand the frustration and anxiety many students and parents experienced today.  It’s important to understand that any students identified as a potential “threat” to other students were removed from the school setting until we had the opportunity to discuss their involvement in the situation with law enforcement.  Had we discovered any valid or substantial threat to our student body throughout the series of meetings today, appropriate safety measures and communication would have been implemented immediately.

Do not hesitate to talk to your son or daughter about the conversations, speculations, and concerns they may have heard or experienced today.  Our staff and administration are available to talk with parents and students about any information they may have regarding their safety and well-being at school.  Thank you for your help and support.

 

Mitch Anderson, Superintendent