PARADISE VALLEY, AZ - Some parents are upset after administration did not contact police after a threat was made at a Paradise Valley school.
Administrators at Mountain Trail Middle School became aware of an alleged threat to the school on February 20th. However, the school did not contact police.
Parent John Goodenow says his son and a few others were named in the threat.
“A brave student came forward and told administrators about the threat, then went home and told their parent,” said Goodenow. “That parent then reached out to Phoenix Police.”
Phoenix Police Department confirms they were not contacted by school officials about the threat.
“In my opinion, had that parent not reported it to law enforcement, this incident would have been swept under the rug,” said Goodenow.
Paradise Valley School District spokesperson Anna Lieggi-Nadler confirms on February 20th, the school's administration was made aware of the alleged threat and was in the process of conducting an internal investigation when a parent contacted police.
Paradise Valley School District released the following statement to ABC15:
At PVSchools, our first priority is for the safety and well-being of our students and staff. We take all incidents and any reported allegations seriously, follow all District protocols and procedures when it comes to investigating alleged threats, and work in cooperation with law enforcement on all police matters.
On Feb. 20, 2018, Mountain Trail Middle School administration became aware of an alleged rumor of a possible threat to the school. After an initial threat assessment was conducted, School administration were in contact with the Phoenix Police Department and the District office. The student(s) were disciplined in accordance with the Parent/Student Handbook. Due to the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), PVSchools cannot provide any details about the student(s) in question, including the disciplinary action(s) that were taken.
It's always advisable that parents check their child's phones and/or tablets to see what they are texting, posting on social media and passing on to others. Parents should never hesitate to call or email the school, as well as the police if they hear or see concerning information.
In closing, PVSchools and Mountain Trail Middle School cooperated fully with the Phoenix Police Department on the investigation, as well as notified families about the alleged rumor. As part of our standard operating procedures, we always review the handling of situations of this nature to ensure that we are responding in the best interest of all of our students.
Legal Analyst Hector Diaz says state statute ARS 15-341 "puts a duty on school districts or governing boards to report any suspicious activity or any kinds of offenses that would constitute a serious offense under Arizona law.”