Police, school investigate Twin Bluff gun threatPolice are investigating reports that a 14-year-old Twin Bluff Middle School student had threatened to bring a gun to school.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
Police are investigating reports that a 14-year-old Twin Bluff Middle School student had threatened to bring a gun to school.
School officials said the incident was resolved Monday.
Red Wing police Chief Tim Sletten said initial police reports indicated a male student had a disagreement with two other students and had threatened to shoot them.
The student was not taken into custody and no gun was found, Sletten said, adding that the case remains under investigation.
He said a resident first reported the situation to police -- before Twin Bluff Principal Nancy Glasenapp informed police on Monday. School officials had been made aware of a threat Thursday, according to police reports.
"There will be continued discussions with the school district on reporting incidents like this to local law enforcement," Sletten said.
Red Wing School District Supt. Stan Slessor said the apparent delay in reporting stemmed from "two different sorts of stories."
The 14-year-old student was sent home Thursday by administrators, Glasenapp said. The youth had not returned to school Monday, but by then rumors "were flying" among students of more threats.
She said it was unclear whether a gun threat was made Thursday or if it was formed later through the rumor mill.
Slessor noted that confidentiality laws prohibit school officials from releasing details or identities of students involved in investigations or disciplinary actions.
A message from Slessor posted Monday on the district's Web site announced the district was dealing with the threat.
"Please know that school officials have investigated the threat and have worked with law enforcement to minimize the chance of any danger to students at Twin Bluff," a portion of the statement reads.
Neither Slessor nor Sletten said elimination of the school's full-time liaison officer played a role in the handling of the threat.
The Red Wing School Board earlier this year cut the position as the district and city grappled with funding shortfalls.
"The same ability to report was there whether there was an officer there or not," Sletten said, noting that investigator and high school liaison officer Tom Rikli spends two days a week at Twin Bluff.
School Board member Perry Sekus was the most vocal critic of eliminating the second liaison position. Contacted Tuesday, he said the district "acted swiftly" in handling the situation.
Sekus, a former assistant prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office who worked the 2005 Red Lake school shootings case, said he would "look into" Sletten's concerns of a possible delay in reporting the incident.
"We should be providing immediate notice to authorities if someone is threatening to bring a gun into school," Sekus said.