C-Falls schools put in soft lockdown over safety concerns

Print Article

The school day resumed at 9:50 a.m. Tuesday in Columbia Falls School District following a soft lockdown that was put into effect around 8 a.m. when phone calls from an irate parent raised safety concerns.

Around 8 a.m., Columbia Falls Police Department responded to a report from the high school that an “extremely irritated” parent had used profanity during a phone call with a high school administrator and may be en route to the school.

When a school resource officer arrived at the high school, the parent reportedly called again, continued to be irate and wanted to speak with the principal in person, according to a press release issued by Columbia Falls Police Chief Clint Peters. The officer remained at the high school to ensure the meeting took place in a peaceful manner.

A short time later, police learned the man may have been considering self-harm and was having suicidal thoughts. With the potential of a suicidal and upset individual arriving at the school, the decision was made to put the high school on soft lockdown.

Columbia Falls Superintendent Bradshaw extended the lockdown to the entire district. The district sent notifications to families as the lockdown went into effect and when it ended.

During the initial investigation, there was information the parent may have ideations of suicide by cop. Additional officers were stationed at other “school zones” around the district as a precaution.

Phone contact was made with the man, who reportedly agreed to seek medical treatment for the suicidal thoughts and was escorted to a facility for care. In the press release, Peters stated the parent “never was, in fact, en route to the school for any reason other than to discuss the issues between the school and his child,” nor did he threaten the school, school staff or law enforcement.

It wasn’t long ago that a Columbia Falls school went into a lockdown. Ruder Elementary was under lockdown for roughly an hour after someone reported a Snap Chat exchange where a young man photographed holding a gun allegedly stated he lived by the elementary school and could settle a dispute in the school parking lot.

Bradshaw said going into lockdown is not a decision that is taken lightly by administrators because it may cause potential stress or trauma, which is not limited to students or staff, but can extend to parents who may find it difficult to receive limited information as an incident unfolds, while at the same time are asked not to go to their child’s school during a lockdown for safety reasons.

“Our number one concern is the safety of the kids. We try not to go into a lockdown on every thing that happens; at the same time, we are pretty cautious when it comes to this type of thing,” Bradshaw said.

Peters echoed a similar statement.

“Our department does not take the fact that your children had to endure a lockdown procedure, lightly. We understand that these moments can sometimes be traumatic because of national events. However, we want to take every precaution to protect the students and staff within our community and act accordingly even when a threat cannot be directly confirmed.”

No charges are pending. The name of the individual will not be released due to the nature of the incident as a mental-health issue.

Montana Highway Patrol and Whitefish Police Department assisted in the investigation.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.

Print Article

Read More Breaking News

Glacier Park plows reach Logan Pass

May 25, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Daily Inter Lake Plow crews clearing the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park have reached Logan Pass, the park announced Saturday. Crews were working in the Oberlin Bend area late last week a...

Comments

Read More

Wife thanks doctors as trooper goes home after shooting

AP

May 22, 2019 at 3:42 pm | MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana Highway Patrol trooper who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being shot three times was released Wednesday from a Utah hospital after his wife gave emotional th...

Comments

Read More

Bullock joins 2020 Democratic presidential race

AP

May 14, 2019 at 7:16 am | HELENA — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced Tuesday that he is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, distinguishing himself among nearly two dozen candidates as the field’s only statewid...

Comments

Read More

Basement fire damages historic St. Matthew’s Church

May 12, 2019 at 8:53 pm | Daily Inter Lake Bill Hensleigh was inside the historic St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in downtown Kalispell a little after 5 p.m. on Sunday, praying as he walked past stained glass windows. The windows were open at t...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2019 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X