BATTLE GROUND, Wash. -- A day after threats unexpectedly canceled classes at six Battle Ground schools, more than 4,000 students returned to their classrooms Thursday.
Extra counselors, a school resource officer and volunteers greeted the kids so they felt safe their first day back.
I think it's pretty safe and that police have done a good job and it's just a one time-incident, said parent Dode Forrester as he dropped off his son Thursday morning. The young man just had a little trouble. I feel safe or I wouldn't be here.
The threatening messages were found by Chief Umtuch Middle School teachers Tuesday evening on a school-sponsored website. Principal David Cresap said he and administrators made the website so kids could share feelings post anonymously to help heal after two eighth-grade girls committed suicide last December and February.
Cresap said they first discovered an anonymous posting of a threat of suicide and immediately sent a recorded call to alert parents to check on their children. Then later Tuesday evening, a teacher monitoring the website saw another written message saying someone wanted to use explosives to hurt a specific teacher and himself on 9/11.
Battle Ground Police started investigating immediately and made the decision to cancel classes on all campuses.
Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation helped Battle Ground police track down the student who authored the post. A 13-year-old boy was arrested and investigators seized his computer.
We're just glad that he's going to get the help that he needs, said Cresap. We want to focus on our school getting back to normal and him getting the help that he needs.
Battleground Police said they were still interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence as part of the felony harassment case for the Clark County prosecutor's office. Attorneys will review the case and recommend charges to go after. The boy likely won't face a judge for at least a week.
Chief Umtuch Middle School had already planned a bullying and suicide awareness event for parents on October 16.