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Threat prompts Thief River Falls high school to take precautions

Brad Bergstrom

THIEF RIVER FALLS—Thief River Falls School District is taking precautions after receiving a threat indicating someone plans to bring a firearm to the high school.

The school district received the message Monday night, Superintendent Bradley Bergstrom said Tuesday. He declined to say who sent the message, but the person threatened to bring a gun to Lincoln High School on Wednesday, he said.

"At this time, we are unable to substantiate that it is credible, but we also can't rule out that it isn't," Bergstrom said. "We're going to be treating it as if it is."

Shortly after receiving the threat, the school district sent a message to parents warning them of the threat, according to a news release. School administration also is coordinating with law enforcement to secure Lincoln.

"We want to make sure all of our staff and students are safe," he said.

Bergstrom declined to say if there will be a heavier police presence at the school or the details of securing Lincoln, adding the school doesn't want to alert the potential perpetrator to its plans.

Classes will continue as normal, Bergstrom said, though parents have a choice to send their children to school or keep them at home. Children who miss classes will be given an excused absence but will have to make up that work later.

"We are leaving that decision to parents if they choose to keep their child at home," he said.

The district has increased its security at its schools in recent years, Bergstrom said. He pointed to a 2014 remodel of Lincoln to add security and safety measures.

Those who have questions should contact Bergstrom at (218) 681-8711 ext. 5226.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

(701) 780-1248