Skyline High School to close Thursday over mass shooting threat

September 20, 2012

By Kathleen R. Merrill

NEW — 12:45 a.m. Sept. 20, 2012

Students and parents were panicking late Wednesday and into the early morning hours of Thursday after someone posted on the Internet that Skyline High School would be targeted for a mass shooting.

After conferring with Sammamish Police, school officials decided to close the school.

“This is always one of the hardest situations to deal with. You take it as seriously as you possibly can but with social media, that kind of stuff is easy to put out there,” Issaquah School District spokeswoman Sara Niegowski said. “There is no way to say this is not credible, so the absolute safest thing to do is close the campus tomorrow and give police time to track down this individual and make sure that everyone is safe.”

The posting from the website 4chan read in part:

The post containing the Skyline High School threat originated on the online bulletin board 4chan. Click on the image for a larger version.

“tomorrow i am going to be taking my fathers erma smg (pic related) and i am going to open fire on the people in the commons in the morning until i am either taken down by our schools police officer or until i run out of mags. i have a separate mag with a few bullets in it that i will use to take my life if i can make it up to that point. the people at that school use their wealth and social status to act superior to others and they think it makes them better. the biggest of that would definitely be the jocks. i am going to start killing them first because they deserve it the most, and they are in the middle of the commons so it would be an ideal place to start. anyways, i just thought I’d share my story before i head to bed tonight. cant say the fact that im leaving this world tomorrow saddens me at all because ill be doing it with a good cause. these kids dont deserve the lives they have been given, and tomorrow ill make sure that they wont ever abuse them again.”

The post also had a photo of what appeared to be a machine gun-type weapon.

“I was on Facebook and I saw the post, and then I called a friend and asked if he saw it,” a 16-year-old Skyline junior who lives in the Klahanie area said in a phone interview. (The Issaquah Press is not naming her out of concern for her safety.) “It kind of blew up on Facebook in like two or three minutes and there were like hundreds of comments.

“At first it was just like, ‘Oh, is this one of those scams?’ Then it just started erupting on Facebook and it was like, ‘This is really real.”

“You’re on the plateau and you think something like this couldn’t really happen to you, but it could,” she added. “Now it’s not just some Virginia Tech story. It could happen anywhere.”

“I’m honestly so freaked out,” a Skyline senior said.

About an hour after the posting first appeared (it was taken down quickly but many students had saved it in a screen shot), school officials sent out an email blast and made mass calls to parents to tell them school had been cancelled in the interest of safety.

The email read:

“Dear Skyline students and staff:

Apologies for the late notification, but we’ve had an emergency situation arise. Police have received a report of a threat against Skyline students reported to take place tomorrow and they are investigating. Working closely with them, we’ve decided to act out of an abundance of caution and close school tomorrow 9/20/12. Please do not have any staff, students or community members come to Skyline campus. We will have more information for you tomorrow or as it’s available. Again, apologies for the late notification but student and staff safety is our top concern.”

Sammamish Police are investigating the incident.

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Comments

8 Responses to “Skyline High School to close Thursday over mass shooting threat”

  1. anonymous on September 20th, 2012 5:42 am

    This was reported to the school and local police by 4chan white knights, not students. Even the ***hole of the internet has some ethics.

  2. TonyaR on September 20th, 2012 2:21 pm

    Actually, “anonymous”, it WAS reported by people outside of 4chan, including students and parents, once the post was shared on Facebook and Twitter. I’m not certain why it matters who did or didn’t call the police, anyway. I’m just glad that so many people took the time to report it.
    I hope they can find out the identity of the person who made the threatening post. He or she seems to be in a very dark, painful place emotionally, and I hope the kid gets the professional help he or she needs in order to get to a much healthier state of mind.
    I also hope this will serve as a wake-up call to schools. Bullying MUST be taken seriously, there MUST be a procedure for consequences when bullying is reported, and ALL kids need to know that “telling an adult” will actually result in actions to help make the bullying stop. There needs to be sensitivity training for all educators and other adults who have contact with students to ensure that they make bullying victims feel heard and stop saying/doing things that minimize the victims’ concerns.
    I can’t speak for other parents, but unless the person who posted the threat is identified, I don’t know that I can send my kids to school with knowledge that they’ll be attending with a ticking time bomb.

  3. anon on September 20th, 2012 3:31 pm

    He was a fake. He got the picture off ebay. Probably wanted a day off.

  4. CF on September 20th, 2012 4:15 pm

    I agree with TonyaR. I believe the school district did the right thing in closing Skyline for the day and also operating under heightened security procedures at the other schools in the area. I also think they should keep Skyline closed tomorrow if they haven’t identified the poster, giving authorities more time to track down the IP address of whomever made the original post. Sure, it could end up being a local Starbuck’s, but better safe than sorry. We can make up 2 days of school. We can’t get back lost lives.

    To “anon” – If it was a fake, the person posting needs to know some things just aren’t funny. This is one of them.

  5. Anon11111111 on September 20th, 2012 4:59 pm

    Tonya
    Heres the scary thing. Anon was bullied by Jock. Kids wont take things serious until something like this happens…and even then there is the ‘that will never happen here (in my school/town)’ mentality. People in todays society are soo thick skulled they dont care about stories of kids killing themselves by being bullied, and idk if a story of ‘the bully-ee killing the bully would evem hit close enough to home for them scary enough.

  6. jen on September 20th, 2012 5:29 pm

    I think that the majority of the kids in the Issaquah, parts of Bellevue and Redmond Schools need to be brought down quite a few notches. My kids are picked on because we are not rich and though I work hard to keep them in nice clothes and do what I can there is always some little rich f**k with snotty parents (usually the mom with her nose stuck in the air). All that happens when these situations arise is that the snotty kids tell more kids so there are then more than one picking on the kid, this is the truth of the matter. And unfortunately the area that high school is in is snob central all schools in a 25 mile radius of that school should just be called snob high or if your not rich f you. I went to school here and ended up dropping out because I couldn’t stand it. Klanhanie is just another addition to snobville and its disgusting. This kid needs help maybe he did this to make the kids that are mean think; unfortunately those kids have their noses so far up in the sky they are not even aware of what it going on down below and most of the time the behavior is learned by some stuck up b**ch for a mom.
    This whole area has gone from bad to worse when it comes to those that are less fortunate or those that are shy or quiet.
    The kids that are picking on other kids usually have parents that know the teachers or school staff and they end up getting away with it.
    To anyone who looks down on others because of financial status or social status go f yourself !!!!!!!

  7. Anonymous on September 20th, 2012 6:29 pm

    “ALL kids need to know that “telling an adult” will actually result in actions to help make the bullying stop.”
    BWAHAHAHAHA! Yea, right.
    I can tell you from experience that as far as school administrators care the person complaining to them IS the problem. When I complained about some wrapping his hands around my throat and lifting me off the ground the principal asked “What did you do to antagonize him?” and put ME under the microscope while the jerk who did it was free to torment whoever he wanted – myself included.
    20 years later nothing has changed. Asking for help just sets the administration against the kid, and they get bullied more for trying.

  8. Leah Mainard on September 21st, 2012 8:47 am

    I have just moved here from the east coast. I’d love to say these issues are new to me…but unfortunately they are everywhere you go. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what your background is, social class/status has always been a dividing issue among human beings since the beginning of time. The thing is, we ALL have to be honest with ourselves….look in the mirror….how are WE treating others? Parents, WE set the example for our kids! They pick up on and adopt our attiitudes and behaviour most of the time. What are WE teaching them? Everyone must take responsibility for our own actions and attitudes that we exhibit to others every day. The thing is, it’s not right to say that its all people who live on the plateau just like its not right to say all kids that don’t live in a certain area would put out an email like this threat. But we ALL must take things more seriously and take responsibility for our actions! It all stems from a love of SELF instead of a love for OTHERS . True love is love that sees beyond any kind of social class or status, to the heart and soul of each individual just as Jesus Christ did in the Bible. Until that kind of love is adopted and we all strive for that kind of love and let it change us, these kind of problems and issues will always be present no matter where we go or live.

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