A juvenile is in custody following violent threats made against North Branch Area High School (MN).
The threats were first reported to North Branch Police Department officers around 6:40 PM on February 24th and from there the suspect was identified and placed in custody less than 90 minutes later. North Branch law enforcement contacted the school at approximately 9 PM about the threat and that they had arrested the juvenile.
It is now known that the 17-year-old who made the threats is a former student currently attending Pathways, a program with ties to the Chisago County School District and St. Croix River Education District.
The suspect is currently being held on felony terroristic charges. According to North Branch police, the threats mentioned a shooting at the school but did not give a specific date or time.
District officials say that tomorrow, February 26th will be a regularly scheduled school day, but families can keep their children home if they choose to and their absence will be excused. Extra police presence will be posted throughout the school on Monday.
Various updates have been posted to the North Branch Police Department Facebook page.
Below is what was sent to district families and staff:
Saturday evening at approximately 9 p.m. North Branch Area Public Schools was contacted by the North Branch Police Department (NBPD) about a credible threat against North Branch Area High School from a former student currently attending Pathways, a program shared among Chisago County school districts and overseen by the St. Croix River Education District (SCRED).
District personnel were contacted again by the NBPD roughly 90 minutes later and informed that the individual was in custody.
As this is an active investigation, all questions regarding the incident should be directed to the NBPD.
The safety of students and staff is North Branch Area Public Schools' (NBAPS) highest priority. Threats of violence are taken very seriously and the school district is grateful to the North Branch Police Dept. for its prompt and thorough investigation as well as its excellent communication during the situation. NBAPS staff have maintained close contact with both SCRED and the Chisago Lakes School District throughout this event.
The NBPD press release can be read in full at the department's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NorthBranchPD/posts/1847029855341584
School will proceed as scheduled tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 26. However, if families prefer to keep their child(ren) home for the day the absence will be excused."