PLAZA, N.D. (KXNET) — In the wake of numerous mass shootings around the country law enforcement, parents, children, and officials are on high alert, especially in schools.
And threatening documents and a picture were discovered at a school in Plaza.
Students wrote a ‘kill list’ with names of other students and teachers at the school, and days later, another student posted a picture to Snapchat holding a gun.
On November 21, kill lists written by three students were discovered at North Shore Plaza School.
The students who created the documents were suspended and law enforcement launched an investigation.
A statement posted by the school on its website said law enforcement concluded its investigation, and a threat to students’ safety did not exist at that time. Officials said the school would be in session on Monday, November 28 as normal.
Superintendent of Lewis and Clark School District, Marc Ritteman, released a statement to KX News which said, “In our School District, student safety is the number one priority, and we take this situation very seriously. School Administrators have worked closely with law enforcement officials from the moment threats were revealed and will continue while we investigate. All students involved in the threatening behavior are not in attendance while we investigate and consider additional disciplinary action. We understand that this situation has justifiably caused great concern, but the administration and law enforcement have determined it is safe for all students to be at school.”
But parents are still concerned for their children’s safety and have reached out to KX News with information on the threats.
Parents who want to remain anonymous say the school did not release any information about the kill lists until six days after the incident occurred.
They learned the information from their children and posted it to a ‘friends and family North Shore Plaza school’ Facebook page.
North Shore Plaza officials sent out a text to parents on Sunday night stating police investigated the situation and concluded charges would not be filed and that a return-to-school process would be implemented on Monday, November 28.
Then a picture of a student holding a gun captioned “don’t come to school tomorrow” that was posted to Snapchat surfaced.
Parents that have talked to KX News, feel the school has not taken the threats seriously enough and lacked communication and transparency with the investigation and updates.
Some students saw the names on the kill lists and the parents whose kids were on the lists have not been contacted.
Some parents are keeping their children home from school until more information about the investigation is released.
Superintendent Marc Ritteman says the children involved with the threats are suspended from school, pending further investigation. Safety is a top priority for all parties involved.
The Ward County Sheriff’s Department says it identified that the handgun in the photograph was a BB gun and seized it. One Juvenile involved in the threats was referred to Juvenile Court for terrorizing.
A statement provided by the Ward County Sheriff’s Department reads:
On November 27, 2022, the Ward County Sheriff’s Department received a report from the North Shore Plaza School of a photograph of a student that depicted the student holding a handgun and with the caption stating don’t come to school tomorrow. The Ward County Sheriff’s Department investigated the incident due to the student living in Ward County. No immediate threat to public safety was identified.
Further investigation revealed that the handgun in the photograph was that of a BB gun and has been seized by law enforcement. One juvenile was referred to Juvenile Court for terrorizing.
Captain Jason Kraft
Ward County Sheriff’s Department