Crookston Police were called to Crookston High School on Wednesday and removed a freshman student who reportedly had made some threatening statements. Police returned on Thursday, in an unrelated incident, to remove a student who school officials suspected had arrived at school under the influence of drugs.
CPD Chief Paul Biermaier on Friday confirmed that police were called to the school minutes after 1 p.m. Wednesday regarding a 15-year-old student “possibly making threats of harming others and burning the school down.”
Biermaier said an officer spoke with “people directly involved and having direct knowledge of the statements made” and, although the student’s comments caused concern for several people and staff, “at no time was anyone in danger of being harmed.”
At the conclusion of the investigation, Biermaier said, it was determined that the student was not a danger to himself or others and that no charges are being filed. He was removed from the school, however, and transported to the Red River Juvenile Center on a probation apprehension and detention order, the chief said.
CHS Principal J.J. Vold contacted the Times Friday in an effort to dispel what he said is inaccurate information circulating in the community in connection with the two incidents, and also to stress that the high school is a “student-friendly school” and that the students there are “100 percent safe.”
In an email to the Times, Superintendent Chris Bates stressed that both incidents were and continue to be taken “extremely seriously” and that parents have a right to know their children are safe. But Bates added that the public, even though it may be frustrating for parents, does not have the “right to know all the details and private circumstances.”
Vold said that if a concern about student safety or drug use arises, the police will be contacted and students will be removed immediately from school if need be. “A concern came our way and we dealt with it immediately and appropriately,” Vold said. “It has been handled and things are OK.”
The principal said that the “administrative team” will meet at some point, if necessary, to decide if the student is allowed to return to school.
As for the Thursday morning incident involving another student and alleged drug use, Vold said that student will be able to return to school at some point in the future. “It did not happen on school grounds, but the student showed up at school, there were concerns, and the student was dealt with immediately,” he said.
Page 2 of 2 - Vold said if drug use or anything arises that compromises student safety, the police will be called without hesitation, “even if it’s just as an extra precaution.” He said the police have been called to CHS three times so far this fall. “It’s not like it’s every day, but it just happens to be the last two days,” Vold said. “We’ve had a great school year so far and we will continue to have a great school year.”