Pleasant Valley schools address possible threat

authorities say no one is at risk after investigation

Officials at Pleasant Valley Junior High in Bettendorf can go back to business as usual after rumors of a possible threat to the school started to surface.

Deputy Chad Weipert says this all stemmed from a student-involved disciplinary incident. A student reportedly got upset in the locker room, which resulted in some classmates having their phones and deodorant damaged. Officials say it was an isolated incident. 

But the school received an anonymous call about a possible threat to the school, prompting the administration to send out an e-mail to parents, reassuring them of their children's safety. 

Superintendent Jim Spelhaug says rumors on social media may have caused the incident to escalate, but says at this time, the investigation shows no evidence of a threat made, of any kind, by the student.

"It's everyone's eyes and ears, and that we don't close our eyes, we don't close our ears, to any safety concern," said Supt. Spelhaug. "That's really important. But we also have to be mindful that trumping up stories or spreading rumors is damaging to safety as well."

The conversation did however lead to a larger discussion with Local 4 News about the role of social media. Supt. Spelhaug says social media has a variety of benefits, but it's important to be mindful about how to use it, to avoid misunderstandings like the one on Wednesday afternoon. 

Local authorities went on to stress the importance of reporting anything that may seem concerning, or pose a threat, no matter how big or small it may be. 

"We want everybody to report what they hear," said Deputy Weipert. "We want everybody to feel safe. They shouldn't have to worry about their safety at school. So we'll take that threat again and investigate it as much as possible."


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