Along with a voice message sent to families, the following email was sent to parents on the evening of Oct. 16 as a follow-up to the events that transpired the night of Oct. 15.
Social Media Causes Fear in Our Community
I wanted to share an update given the situation that transpired in our district on the night of Oct. 15. In the late evening hours of Oct. 15, high school administrators worked with Deer Park’s School Resource Deputy and other law enforcement officials to investigate reports of threats made via a social media platform. Just after 9:00pm, Principal Joe Feist provided high school families with an update about what we knew at the time – that information was added to the district website.
Ultimately, after hours of additional investigation (well into the night and early morning hours), those working the issue were able to determine that while there was indeed some concerning communication via social media between a few students in Deer Park and some students in Spokane, there was no credible information related to a direct or indirect threat at Deer Park High School – obviously, this is contrary to the exaggerated reports many were seeing online. If you’re interested in reading a detailed account of what transpired, please click on the following link. Mark Gregory with the Spokane County Sheriff’s office has done a fantastic job with his review of what took place and the role law enforcement played in helping school district officials get the facts related to the situation:
Let me say how much we appreciate the parents that reached out to share their concern and we always encourage you to do so – keeping our kids safe is work we must do together. Had any details come to light that would have been important or pertinent for families outside of Deer Park High School, we wouldn’t have hesitated to alert all families. That said, given the close proximity of our school buildings and the tight-knit nature of this community we were reminded of the occasional need to share more information outside the affected building. We’ll certainly keep this in mind going forward.
We look forward to seeing your kids at school and on behalf of everyone working with your kids in this district, I want you to know that we’ll continue to do everything we can to ensure your kids are safe and secure at school.
Yours in Education,
Travis W. Hanson, Superintendent