VAN HORNE – The Benton Community School District announced Sunday night it would open for classes Monday.
School officials cancelled all school activities on Friday and throughout the weekend after receiving a message earlier that there would be violence at one of the schools on Friday, Nov. 15.
School Superintendent Pamela Ewell said in a letter posted on the School District website classes would be conducted beginning Monday. She thanked parents, staff members, students and community members for their support “as we navigate the best course of action following the safety threat the District received on Thursday.
“While we have no additional information regarding the threat, after careful consideration and consultation with the FBI and local law enforcement, we believe it is best for everyone to resume classes on Monday, Nov. 18. Therefore, all classes and previously-scheduled activities will resume, starting at 6 a.m. Monday. The District will be implementing a number of building security measures for all District buildings to maintain the safety of all students and staff.
“As an example, District administrators, staff, and local authorities will be checking all student items when they enter the Middle School and High School building. Please inform your students this will be occurring so they are prepared.
“As parents, you can always decide whether you want to send your student to attend classes after an event such as this. While we hope you feel comfortable sending your student to school on Monday, if you do not, the absence will be considered an excused absence. Please use regular attendance procedures to report the absence.
“Vigilance by students and parents is an important element in our safety and security plan. Therefore, we ask that, as parents, you continue to talk with your students regarding the importance of telling a teacher or administrator if they see or hear something that causes them concern.
“If you or your students have any questions or concerns, please contact the school office. The District will be making counseling services available to students.
“The District continues to work closely with the FBI and local law enforcement, and their investigation is ongoing. We appreciate the continued support of the FBI and Benton County Sheriff Department. At this time, the District does not have any additional information to share. We will update you once we have additional information that you, as parents, need to know.Thank you,
Dr. Pamela EwellSuperintendentBenton Community School District.
The threat received last week was made on the same day as a school shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., in which two students were killed and three injured before the 16 year old turned the gun on himself.