Increased security at Deer Park High School Wednesday due to social media threat

Extra police officers were at Deer Park High School Wednesday morning due to an alleged ‘potential violent threat’ that was posted to social media, referencing a specific group of students.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and the Spokane Police Department worked with the Deer Park Resource Deputy and Deer Park School Officials to investigate the report.

They discovered that the incident occurred on October 14 in a Snapchat group conversation between students from Deer Park High School and North Central High School. At first, the teens were trash-talking each other about who was better at basketball, but the situation intensified and become confrontational as more people were added to the chat.

Eventually, students were talking about fighting and beating each other up.

This was the extent of the actual conversation, but as people began talking and sharing information about the group chat, the rumors became exaggerated.

During their investigation, Deputies interviewed several students involved in the conversation, none of whom say they felt threatened. They also did not think anyone was being truly threatening to their school. Since Snapchat deletes messages to keep chats private, Deputies were unable to comb through the conversation, though they determined that no actual threat was made to the school, staff or students.

Classes will continue as normal.

Previously, families were notified with a phone call from Deer Park Principal Joe Feist Tuesday night, as well as the following message posted to the Deer Park School District website:

On the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 15, school officials received information about a potential violent threat (posted via social media) made against a small and specific group of students at Deer Park High School. Administrators worked quickly and in conjunction with the district’s School Resource Deputy and the Spokane County Sheriff’s office to quickly gather as much credible information as possible about the specific nature of the threat. At this time, it is clear that the information posted online originated from outside the Deer Park area – Sheriff’s Deputies have been working with the Spokane Police Dept. to identify the individual or individuals responsible for posting these threats. DPHS Principal Joe Feist sent high school families a brief update via the district’s phone notification system to ensure families knew the district was in close contact with law enforcement and would continue to gather information throughout the night.

Given the information currently available, law enforcement does not believe there is a real or credible threat to students at Deer Park High School or any other students or buildings in Deer Park. We will stay in close contact with the Spokane County Sheriff’s office and the Spokane Police Dept. and pass along new information should it become available. The district plans to have additional law enforcement presence at DPHS and in Deer Park on Wednesday to ensure the safety of students and staff.