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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

UPDATED Oct. 5: WDMCS Response to Local School District Threats

UPDATE from 1:38 p.m., Oct. 5:
The West Des Moines Police Department has confirmed they have identified the individual who sent threatening text messages to WDMCS students on Tuesday, Oct. 2. The messages were confirmed to be the action of a copycat, and not associated with similar events surrounding Johnston Community Schools or other area school districts. West Des Moines Police also confirmed the threats made from the individual were NOT deemed to be credible.

We want to thank our local law enforcement for their diligence throughout the investigation, and for doing their part to help keep our WDMCS students and staff safe. WDMCS prioritizes student and staff safety when making any decisions related to altering school schedules. We believe the decision this week to keep schools open was the correct choice for our student body.

We are thankful to our WDMCS families for the support and trust they place in us each day to help their students obtain the skills, knowledge, creativity, sense of self-worth and values necessary to thrive in and contribute to a diverse and changing world.

 

UPDATE from 5:38 p.m., Oct. 3:
Thank you for your attention and concern to today’s situation with anonymous threats made to Johnston Community School District students and parents. WDMCS received word that one district student received a threatening text from an unknown number. We then alerted local authorities. That text message was not found to be a credible threat and has not been confirmed as associated with Johnston Schools or as a copycat text message.

Some social media outlets have included posts related to similar threats across the metro, and local authorities are collaborating to determine the validity of each. We ask that WDMCS families notify police if they receive any threatening communication, including texts, email, social media posts, etc. We also request that families reference information from official police or district communication to help stop the spread of misinformation.

As mentioned in our previous message this morning, the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. Although we do not believe there is a credible threat to our students at this time, the West Des Moines Police Department will provide an additional police presence at the secondary schools tomorrow morning. The planned police presence is currently scheduled at secondary schools because threats were concentrated to junior and senior high grades.

We will communicate any future schedule changes with our families. Any decisions related to those changes will be based on doing our best to ensure a safe environment in all of our buildings.

The following links are tools that may help you talk about the recent national and local events with your children:

 

From 9:23 a.m., Oct. 3:
As you may have heard through local media, the Johnston Community School District is closed today, Tuesday, October 3, due to anonymous threats made to students and parents.

We have spoken with the West Des Moines and Clive Police Departments, and are monitoring how this local threat may impact our district. At this time we do not believe there is a current need to make any changes to any school schedules or processes.

The safety of our students and staff is of utmost importance, so we do not take the situation with our neighboring school district lightly. We will continue to monitor the situation and will communicate if we make any changes from our current decision.