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Half of Thief River Falls high school shows up for class after alleged threat

THIEF RIVER FALLS—Only 50 percent of the student body at a Thief River Falls high school went to class Wednesday after an alleged threat indicated someone would bring a firearm to the school.

But classes continued without incident, the district's superintendent said Thursday.

Thief River Falls Superintendent Bradley Bergstrom said half of the 600 students at Lincoln High School attended classes Wednesday, the day someone allegedly threatened to bring a gun to school. The school received the message Monday night and informed parents with a messaging system about the potential threat.

The school and police could not determine if the message was credible, but they did not rule out that something could happen. As a precaution, the school worked to boost security at the school.

That included giving parents the option to keep their children at home.

"We anticipated that," Bergstrom said of the number of students who missed school. "At the end of the day, the safety of our students and staff are paramount."

Threats to the district's schools are "extremely rare," Bergstrom said. When they arise, police and the district are able to determine if the threats are credible before the date of an alleged threat.

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.

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