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Editorial: District and police handled threat well

What a wild week it was at Hastings High School.

Principal Mike Johnson showed up for work early Wednesday and browsed through his emails. There he found something terrifying — a threat to his students and staff.

Except, from the outset, the threat seemed a bit weird. The student claimed to have been a former student at the school, but no record of him could be found.

Still, Johnson got busy getting the word out to the school liaison officer, David Bauer, and the superintendent. More holes started to appear in the story and, finally, Bauer and the police were able to track the man’s IP address to an address in Montana. Before long, officers got word from police in Montana that a man had been taken in for care after enduring a mental health crisis. That man told police he had sent threats to a number of schools he had gone to school at.

Turns out, the man mistakenly sent an email to the Hastings High School here and not the school he once attended — Alief Hastings High School in Houston, Texas.

The school district handled the matter in the appropriate way. They got police involved, they investigated and, when they had enough information to go on, they got the word out about the threat. That communication came in the form of an email from Superintendent Tim Collins.

The district and police did the right thing by getting the word out about the threat when they did. We’re certain that had there been an imminent threat to the safety of students, immediate action would have been taken. In this case, it became clear very quickly that the threat didn’t add up. We applaud the district and local police for sharing as much as they did about the threat.

This situation was handled very well by both the district and the Hastings Police Department.

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