SK High classes canceled after shooting threats

Classes resumed at South Kitsap High School May 15 after social media threats regarding a potential school shooting caused classes to be canceled a day earlier.

Neither Port Orchard police or the South Kitsap School District believe the threats to be credible, but the behavior and alleged fearmongering surrounding the threats even after the school’s reopening is also being investigated as felony conduct.

A May 16 joint statement from the POPD and SKSD says, “While it is uncommon for credible threats to be made on social media, all threats will be fully investigated. The safety and well-being of students, and all members of our community, are of the utmost importance.”

SK High principal Dave Goodwin said May 12 the district became aware of a situation the day prior. A “vague screenshot” of Snapchat messages was received by some students stating guns were going to be brought to school. A student who sent out the screenshot message was among those contacted by police. Law enforcement described it as a “telephone game” due to the amount of speculation.

“This was still valuable information however, because it gave us some context and a focus for our investigation into this matter last night and today,” Goodwin added.

Law enforcement was on school grounds throughout May 13 to investigate. That afternoon police say a new series of postings began circulating, leading the SKSD to close the campus.

“Out of an abundance of caution,” a message from the SKSD to families confirmed the cancellation of classes May 14.

Enhanced security was in place for the students’ return the next day, but the district also expressed worry about what it called “rumors and misinformation.”

“Although we do not believe the threats, the surrounding behavior and false reporting that created fear within our community is being taken seriously…” the joint statement says, adding they hope to prosecute those responsible.