Originally Published: August 30, 2018 10:53 a.m.
Humboldt Unified School District Superintendent Dan Streeter is hailing the rapport built between Bradshaw Mountain High School students, principals, and Prescott Valley police for why there was a prompt arrest Wednesday of a 16-year-old boy who threatened to harm his fellow students.
“I can’t wait until I shoot up the school,” the boy said in a statement that was then relayed to school officials, who reported it to the Prescott Valley Police Department. The boy is not identified because he is a minor.
Police said in a news release the boy was transported to the Prescott Juvenile Detention Facility where he was charged with the felony of making terrorist threats and two misdemeanors, threatening and intimidating and disorderly conduct.
Streeter said this arrest speaks to the relationship of “respect and trust” that school administrators have built with students so they are confident that when they make such a serious report it will not be dismissed.
“I think there’s a bigger message here,” Streeter said of the immediate decision of a group of high school students to tell administrators about the threat they learned about through friends.
Bradshaw Mountain High Principal Kort Miner earned special praise as someone students, faculty and the community know is a go-to guy who will listen and take action when something goes awry.
Miner is renowned as an education leader who makes it is his business to interact and connect daily with the students on his campus, from the newest freshman to the best known seniors. A one-time teacher and coach, Miner is revered by his students and staff because he walks the walk when it comes to doing the right things to assure the school is a safe place to learn, play and grow every day, Streeter said.
“Kort’s relationship with kids is off the charts,” Streeter said.
Even though some of these threats boil down to “silly comments,” Streeter said any suggestion of harm to a student, or school community, is “not going to be taken lightly.”
Prescott Valley police said they wish to remind and encourage all parents to tell their children that threats, or even alleged threats, “are not jokes, and will not be considered as such,” the news release states.
“The Prescott Valley Police Department advises there is zero tolerance for any language that can be understood as threatening or intimidating to another person,” the release said. “No threat or potential threat is being overlooked. Every incident will be investigated and dealt with accordingly.”
Bradshaw Mountain High has a school resource officer on campus, but in this case students reported the threat directly to the administration, Streeter said. He, though, said the presence of a police officer on campus is also about fostering strong ties between students and law enforcement so they are comfortable sharing problems and potential criminal issues with those capable of addressing them.
Both the police and Streeter said the school district encourages the mantra of “If you see something, say something,” be that suspicious activity, threatening statements, actions that appear out of the ordinary or statements that are out of the ordinary.
Like Streeter, the police praised students for standing up and reporting “a situation of significant concern.”
“The administration’s relationship with students is why these things get reported, and can’t be understated,” Streeter emphasized. “We want to create these strong relationship so that students keep coming forward.”