Sioux Falls School District Superintendent Brian Maher is calling Thursday’s threat against Roosevelt High School an act of “cyber-terrorism.” An e-mail sent to local businesses alluded to a shooting at the high school, prompting law enforcement to post additional officers in the area. Officials are calling the threat a hoax.
Superintendent Maher says he was attending a meeting at Roosevelt High School when law enforcement alerted school officials of the threat. He says investigators now believe students were not in immediate danger.
“The message was not locally generated, or at least to the best of our knowledge the message was not locally generated, but it certainly caused a great deal of disruption," he says.
Maher says the e-mails mirror threats the district has received in the past, but every threat is taken seriously. When authorities could not immediately confirm the threat was a hoax, the district notified parents. Maher also commends Roosevelt High School Principal Tim Hazlett for calmly announcing the ongoing investigation to the student body.
Maher says existing resources remain available for students who experience increased anxiety because of the situation.
“You know, we have a number of counselors always available to our kids, so certainly the counselors, the social workers, the assistant principals and interns that we have available—those folks are always available for the kids," explains Maher.
This is the second security threat to the Sioux Falls School District in the first six days of the new school year. A custodian for the Career and Technical Education Academy is accused of hiding a loaded handgun in a bathroom ceiling tile last week.
Superintendent Maher says students were not at immediate risk in either situation, and he remains confident in district safety protocols.