Bothell High School. (Madeline Coats / Bothell-Kenmore Reporter file)

Bothell High School. (Madeline Coats / Bothell-Kenmore Reporter file)

Students arrested, charged as school threats surge here

The latest in Snohomish County: Bothell High School’s campus was closed Friday after threatening graffiti was found.

BOTHELL — Several students face criminal charges for alleged incidents at schools, including threats of violence, amid increased fears over school safety and unconfirmed social media rumors.

Court documents made public Thursday revealed new details about multiple episodes that could lead to children facing prosecution.

When confronted with the allegations, students consistently say the threats were jokes.

“The safety of our children is not a joke,” Everett school Superintendent Ian Saltzman wrote in a message to families earlier this month. He urged parents to talk to their children about the potential consequences of their actions, and to report anything concerning.

A Meadowdale Middle School student was arrested after he was accused of threatening the school. According to a police report, he wrote in a message to a fellow student that he would shoot that student and others at the school.

He allegedly also sent pictures of a handgun, a rifle and a homemade bomb.

One message reportedly said something along the lines of, “if I manage to successfully use the bombs it will kill over 75% of the school.”

The kid who received the threat and pictures was too scared to go to school. The student who was arrested told police it was a prank, according to court papers. He said he found the pictures on the Internet.

He was released from custody on the conditions that he not possess any firearms or explosives and not use social media.

At Lakewood High School, a 14-year-old student was arrested in connection with a threat scrawled on a bathroom stall this month.

“I’m going to shoot this school up (expletive) yall,” reads the threat in red pen on the stall, according to a police report.

The student reportedly told police he was the author. His parents reported he didn’t have access to guns. And according to court documents, he told school officials it was a joke.

A 15-year-old Meadowdale High School student was being investigated for allegedly bringing a pistol and ammunition to the school. He showed the gun to other students and reportedly said it was for “self-protection,” according to police. One student told their parents. The parents notified police.

The accused student did not threaten the school or other students. But the kid he showed the gun to reported being very scared.

In a police interview, the 15-year-old acknowledged bringing the pistol to the school, according to court documents.

In Mukilteo, a 14-year-old boy was charged earlier this month with six felonies in connection with threats at three schools. He reportedly told police he thought it was funny and didn’t mean to harm anyone.

In the Monroe School District, a 13-year-old student could face charges for false reporting for accusing a classmate of threatening a shooting at Hidden River Middle School.

Meanwhile, Bothell High School’s campus was closed Friday after threatening graffiti was found — again.

Classes would be conducted via Zoom, the district superintendent wrote in a message to families. The graffiti reportedly threatened violence at the school.

“We will continue to take these threats seriously and we will continue to investigate along with law enforcement and District Safety and Security to identify the individual(s) responsible for disrupting the learning process,” Superintendent Michelle Reid wrote. “There will be consequences.”

The school was closed earlier this month after other threatening graffiti was found on campus.

After a shooting that left four children dead at a Michigan High School, schools across the United States have reported rumored threats.

Several local districts sent messages Thursday evening noting rumors on the social media app TikTok threatening schools throughout the country. At least one district, Marysville, increased police presence around campuses Thursday and Friday.

Police haven’t reported any credible threats to nearby schools connected to TikTok. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office noted in a Facebook post that the rumors likely did not start here.

TikTok wrote in a statement that it has found nothing on its platform promoting violence, only videos of people talking about the rumor and warning others to stay safe. Those “alarmist warnings” are being taken down for spreading misinformation, the company stated.

Superintendent Saltzman, of the Everett district, wrote in his Dec. 2 letter that investigating threat reports often “requires dozens of school and district leaders and law enforcement to act all hours of the day and night to ensure the safety of our students.”

“I commit to you we take every threat seriously. We partner with our local law enforcement to ensure threats are fully investigated and resolved,” Saltzman wrote. “There are consequences for students who are guilty of threatening our schools, students or staff.”

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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