Seitz remains open following threat investigation

Photo by Sue Suchyta Riverview Mayor Andrew Swift.

Photo by Sue Suchyta
Riverview Mayor Andrew Swift.

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

RIVERVIEW – Seitz Middle School was open Oct. 26 following investigation into a threat made by a student during after-school hours Oct. 25, with the student not in school following the threat.

Parents of middle school students took to social media early Friday to see if the threat made Thursday, which was mentioned to parents in an email Thursday night, would result in the cancellation of Friday classes, which it did not.

Police Chief Clifford Rosebohm said Friday that he had no statement to make about the police investigation into the nature of the threat.

Supt. Russell Pickell said all threats are taken seriously.

“We work closely with law enforcement and other professionals to assess each situation,” he said. “It is not only important to provide for the safety and well being of all of our students, but to also provide for their social, emotional, and educational needs. Our processes and procedures are designed for that purpose.”

Mayor Andrew Swift said Friday the situation remains under investigation, and until it is complete, the student will not be in the school building.

“It is my understanding that it wasn’t a direct threat against a person or property, just a statement that wasn’t appropriate,” Swift said.

Parents expressed concern on social media that adjacent Huntington Elementary School parents were not informed of the situation. They also expressed concerns about the boundaries between revealing information and shielding the identity of a minor.

One parent who called the Riverview Police Department Thursday night for an update reported online that she was told by a police official that the police were involved, that it was safe to send children to school, and often comments that trigger an investigation can be as basic as an inappropriate comment about the school to a friend online.

Parents who did not check their email until Friday morning commented on the thread that they were left with many unanswered questions and concerns.

One parent noted philosophically that parents have received other emails about threats in the past, and that the police department and school district have handled earlier incidents well.

(Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)

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