GRANDVIEW Police arrested juvenile “conspirators” Sunday night who allegedly plotted an attack on Grandview High School.
While police were mum on the arrests, the School District confirmed both the threat and the arrests at about 7 p.m.
“On Friday, Feb. 23, several students overheard a conversation that allegedly involved a threat toward Grandview High School,” a statement released by the district on social media said. “Those students did the right thing and reported what they heard to school administrators, who contacted the district’s School Resource Officer and involved the Grandview Police Department.
On Sunday, Feb. 25, the police obtained warrants for the suspected conspirators and they were arrested.”
The statement included the following from Police Chief Kal Fuller:
“Although we still have follow-up to do, we do not believe there is any ongoing threat to anyone in the Grandview School District.”
As of press time, police had not released any information on the arrests.
The number of teenagers, their names and ages were not immediately available.
“The Grandview School District would like to thank the Grandview Police Department and some very honorable students for helping keep our schools safe,” the social media posting said.
“The Grandview School District appreciates the relationship we have with the Grandview Police Department and we want the community to know we take these matters seriously. We are all working together to ensure the safety of our students.”
The arrests in Grandview come less than two weeks after two students were expelled from the district's easterly neighbor, the Prosser School District, for threats that occurred Feb. 12 and 15.
The names of the expelled students were not released by authorities.
On Feb. 12, police responded to Prosser High School, 1203 Prosser Ave., for a social media threat.
“School staff wanted to report suspicious social media postings done by a student,” police said.
The responding officer was provided with screen shots of various postings from a student’s Instagram account.
One posting depicted a shotgun and stated: “Don’t go to school Monday.”
There was no school that Monday because of President’s Day.
Other postings contained inappropriate language regarding ethnic groups and sexual orientation, police said. The student admitted to the posting, but said it was a joke.
The student denied plans for a school attack and didn't have access to weapons, police said.
Other Prosser students who commented on the posts said they thought the posts were funny.
On Feb. 15, also at Prosser High School, a juvenile female implied a threat to “shoot up the school.”
She was emergency expelled and a harassment charge was forwarded to the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Grandview School District's westerly neighbor, Sunnyside School District, has also requested a stepped-up police presence on campuses in the wake of two recent incidents there.
One took place Feb. 8 and the other was reported on Monday, Feb. 19.
The first was non-specific, and written in a combination of styles, Police Cmdr. Scott Bailey said.
Bailey said investigators “found no substantive evidence that indicated that it (was) a viable threat.”
The second incident took place on President's Day.
At about 10 p.m., police and Sunnyside High School personnel became inundated with calls and reports of a possible social media threat.
Bailey said it became clear rather quickly that it was a re-posting of a possible threat about month ago, investigated by the Fresno, Calif., Police Department, and an arrest was made.
“Based on the threat, and as the investigation was on-going, Sunnyside Police Department coordinated with Sunnyside School District to establish an increase in police presence at Sunnyside High School,” Bailey said.
Bailey said there was an increased presence on campus and in school zones.
Other school districts have dealt with threats or hoaxes this school year, too.
Earlier this school year, Grandview had a pair of threat-related lockdowns. Nearby, Wapato also had lockdowns after threats.
Sunnyside, Sunnyside Christian and Mabton have had lockdowns because of police pursuits of criminals in the area.
- Ted Escobar contributed to this report.