Violent threat or desperate for a break: Student’s words sends school into a frenzy

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Violent threat or desperate for a break: Student’s words sends school into a frenzy

School Resource Officer, Jamey Fah, accompanied by other officers completing routine patrol duties on Saturday night.

School Resource Officer, Jamey Fah, accompanied by other officers completing routine patrol duties on Saturday night.

Nate Martell

School Resource Officer, Jamey Fah, accompanied by other officers completing routine patrol duties on Saturday night.

Nate Martell

Nate Martell

School Resource Officer, Jamey Fah, accompanied by other officers completing routine patrol duties on Saturday night.

Carly Lundry, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

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In the midst of a gun violence epidemic, one student may have taken a joke too far by threatening the school with bathroom graffiti.

Early last week, a message written on the wall of a boys bathroom was reported by a student as a potential violent scare. Administrators at PV were able to work with Bettendorf Police and Crime Stoppers to narrow down who it may have come from. 

Upon discovery, an E-news was sent to each family regarding the message, while no specifics were mentioned. The E-news read, “We are assured by authorities that this is not the norm regarding the vast majority of violent episodes, but we are taking this and all threats seriously.”

Teachers were advised to keep their classroom doors locked throughout the entire day and administrators were stationed throughout the school during passing period.

According to school resource officer Jamey Fah, the threat was directed at harming students at the school. The investigation is still in progress, but many immediately had concerns about potential violence or even a school shooting.

The school reacted promptly, as many students came to school afraid or avoided going at all. Additional police officers were called to monitor the hallways, cafeteria and parking lots during Friday’s school hours, as well as multiple cars patrolling the Riverdale area.

Aside from students attending the All State Music Festival and a religious conference, many students stayed at home on Friday out of fear, and many parents forbid their children from going. Senior Christin Hartman stayed home from school on Friday out of her parents’ wishes.

“My parents were worried about me going to school because they were unsure of how serious the threat was and with everything that’s been happening recently they wanted to make sure that I would be safe,” she said.

Many students that were at school spent the day in anticipation of something bad happening. Senior Kayla Nutt and her parents were cautious about her attending. “I ended up going to school and there was a lot of built up anxiety on the students,” she said. “It is sad how students are fearful about going to school in today’s society.”

As the day progressed and ended, a sigh of relief was echoed throughout the school. Fortunately, nothing happened on Friday and all students were sent home safely. This brings up the possibility of the threat being a way to get out of school.

Attendance was low on Friday and the student responsible may have been desperate for a day off. Regardless, the safety of students was the primary concern of all necessary actions conducted.

Jamey Fah and his immediate staff reacted with intention and integrity to ensure PV remains protected from any danger that may have been caused by the reckless writing of one student.

“We do everything we can to create a safe environment for the students no matter what, but that also means that school safety is a community effort,” he said. “We all have a responsibility to participate in creating safe schools.”