BELLEVUE, Wash. – Since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, school across the nation have dealt with increased threats of violence. There have been several in our area, including two at Sammamish High School in Bellevue.
One threat on Facebook and the other on Snapchat were both seemingly directed at Sammamish High School. Authorities have ruled them “fake threats” or attempts to just scare people into thinking something was going to happen at the school.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students went back to class Wednesday, two weeks after 17 classmates and teachers were shot and killed at their school in Parkland, Florida. At the same time, students at Sammamish High experienced their own anxiety after school threats both Wednesday and Thursday.
“He put us on lockout -- that makes sure no one else can get in the building,” said Sammamish High sophomore Leslie Gonzalez.
Students tell us the principal made the call after seeing the threat of violence on Facebook.
“Closing the blinds, locking the doors and, specifically my teacher, we talked about the plan what would happen if anything were to occur," said Sammamish High senior Karen Perez.
Students and parents tell us police showed up on campus, but authorities soon realized it wasn’t a viable threat.
“There was a threat at a school in Ohio that has the initials “SHS” and basically somebody at our school took a screenshot of the picture and sent it to the principal,” said Gonzalez.
First, a Facebook post and then another threat with a Snapchat photo.
“(He was) holding what appeared to be a gun and bottle of liquor,” said Perez.
So the school district sent out an email to families letting them know what happened and what the district and Bellevue police did in response. It’s a far cry from what happened in Parkland when the FBI admitted it did not follow up with tips about alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz.
“I was just terrified, honestly. It’s been going on so often and it’s just terrifying cause I feel like if it happens at my school. I don’t know what I would do to react to it,” said Gonzalez.
But some students say they’ll react in November as the nation’s newest eligible voters.
“Being a senior, we’re all getting around to the age where we can vote just further action. What can we do to protect ourselves,” said Perez.
Sammamish High sent out a letter to families telling them the Snapchat photo was actually a student holding an airsoft gun and there was no threat made against the school. It was circulated and that’s what led to concern. The student is not allowed back on campus until the end of the investigation.