By Stephen Tool, MCIN Staff
Christopher Schultz, Mineral County School District superintendent, looked relaxed in his office chair on April 4 while discussing the recent student/teacher Facebook threat.
“I can’t discuss much,” he said. “The student’s rights must be considered.”
Schultz said the school administration was reasonably prepared for the event. “We have a crisis manual, and administrators work with our staff. We addressed this very quickly; we called the sheriff’s office, and Sheriff Handte was extremely responsive.”
“It’s our job to keep staff and students safe,” Schultz said. “I don’t know if kids understand the import of the things they do. It’s good the sheriff can explain what can happen to them,” Schultz said.
“For us, we have to do an investigation, the principal has to collect facts, and then present them to me. Mr. Domagala (the high school principal) presented his concern to me first thing Monday morning. As soon as he was done, we rock and rolled and called the police,” Schultz said.
The school and the police do separate investigations, but share information according to Schultz. “I’m very confident they’re (the sheriff’s department) are taking the legal steps they need to take, and we’re taking the steps we need to take to protect our teachers and kids,” Schultz said.
The recent shooting of a teacher in Sparks prompted the immediate response of both the police and school officials. “Everybody afterward asks questions like, ‘What did you do?’ or ‘Why didn’t you notice?’” Schultz said.
“The thing is, a child blowing off steam, a child being foolish and a child being sincere look very much alike. We have to take it very seriously because of that. We can’t really guess the extent of that person’s intent. We only know what’s in front of us,” Schultz said.
Columbine changed the way schools react to perceived student threats. “I have to assume the intent is to do harm, and what do we do about that? We’re going to lean on the side of safety,” Schultz said.