Last week on November 1st, the Bend-La Pine School District received a threat through their website stating a former student would blow up a math class on Friday November 3rd. This threat was taken seriously and reported to the Bend Police Department. Over the next 48 hours, Bend Police staff, to include the School Resource Officer assigned to Mt. View High School, several detectives and a Special Agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation worked diligently with Bend-La Pine IT staff to find the person who made the threat.
Over the 48 hour period, the identity of the person who made the threat was unknown, but school and police officials felt it was safe for the students of Mt. View High School to attend. This included a sweep of the school early on the morning of November 3rd by members of the Central Oregon Emergency Response Team. This team is comprised of officers from agencies throughout the tri-county area. These officers spent several hours in the morning making sure the school was safe from suspicious devices and stayed to make sure the students felt safe.
The investigation continued throughout November 3rd and into November 6th. Despite the fact the threat was issued through an anonymous “TOR” server, the Bend-La Pine IT staff were able to identify information that led FBI investigators to a suspect in Eugene, Oregon.
The FBI assisted and was able to make contact with the people living in the residence where the IP address came back to. During their interview, they found that a 14 year old male had made the threat. The school was thought to be in another state, however, the 14 year old sent it to Mt. View High School
in Bend Oregon.
Charges that could stem from an incident like this might include Computer Crime (C Felony) and Disorderly Conduct I (A Misdemeanor). Once all the information is gathered, it will be sent to the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office/Juvenile Department, where charges could be filed against the 14 year old from Eugene.
Cyber bullying and internet safety is a very real and important mission to tackle in our community today. A decision to disrupt a former friend’s school turned a school community upside down. As parents, teachers and mentors it is important to convey the message of safety to our children and community members. The actions we take on-line may not just effect the intended “targets,” but likely more people and possibly in other communities.
This incident in particular used more than 10 law enforcement officers and multiple Bend-La Pine school staff on multiple days. It disrupted an entire school community for a day and, most importantly, placed fear into community members of Bend.
The Kid Center is offering a training at Pacific Crest Middle School on November 30 and will be offering tools to help you support your student’s use of internet technology. Learn more about it at http://www.kidscenter.org.
Local and Federal agencies worked together with the Bend-La Pine School District to successfully confront this threat. Any future threats to our schools will be pursued with this same tenacity.