Gun, suicide 'threat' closes Mountain Crest High School
The Cache County School District closed down Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum Friday after receiving a report that a student or students planned to bring a gun to class, possibly to commit suicide.
Cache County Sheriff's Lt. Brian Locke said detectives were unable to confirm the story, but district officials decided to close the school anyway as a precaution.
"We received a call last night about a threat. We talked to the girl who said she overheard a student or students talking about bringing a gun to school today and harming themselves," Locke said.
"We interviewed the girl but weren't able to substantiate or verify her information," he added. "It is still under investigation, though, and our detectives and school officials are looking for any names of these students. No one has come forward, other than this student."
Administrators at the school confirmed Friday morning students had been told to stay home from their scheduled half-day of classes. They will not return until after the Christmas break.
All other questions about the Mountain Crest closure were referred to Cache County School District spokesman Kirk McRae. He did not immediately return calls and an e-mail seeking comment Friday.
The closure only affected Mountain Crest, which was the only target of the threat received Thursday night.
In the week since 20 children and six elementary school staffers were shot to death in Newtown, Conn., there has been a nationwide rash of bogus threats targeting schools, including several in Utah. While some schools have responded with closures, none had done so in Utah until Friday; instead, schools here had responded with campus searches and beefed up law enforcement presence.
With Friday's one-week milestone since the Connecticut massacre, student rumor mills were in full tilt. At Judge Memorial Catholic High School, Principal Rick Bartman said he had been inundated with calls from concerned parents Friday morning.
His message to each call has been the same, he said, "There is no incident, no threats. Just another normal day for us, except for the rumors."