HURON — A potential situation involving an Instagram photo was quickly determined to not be a threat this weekend, due to concentrated action by the Huron School District and Huron Police Department.
“What happened was a student posted a photo on an Instagram that was seen by other students,” said Huron Superintendent Terry Nebelsick. “Some of the other students had responded that they intended to not attend school on Tuesday because of the photo.”
Nebelsick discussed the situation with other administrators and then contacted Huron Police Chief Kevin Van Diepen.
The student and the student’s parents were contacted and brought in for further discussion, according to Van Diepen.
“I oversaw the discussion, which included a department detective and the school resource officer,” Van Diepen said.
He said that the investigation was completed in three-to-four hours and that the student and parents were very cooperative in the process.
“We determined that there was not a threat in this particular situation,” Van Diepen said.
But he added that each situation is treated as it comes up.
“We really don’t have a hard and fast rule procedure in place for things like this,” Van Diepen. “They can all be different. The key is to identify the involved parties and contact them immediately, trying to stay ahead of the situation.”
He agreed that there may have been some added emphasis on the situation, after what had taken place days earlier in Florida as well as other sites around the country recently.
“We investigated, and once we determined that there was no threat in the situation, we turned the matter back over to the school and let them handle it.”
Nebelsick said each school building has a rehearsed situation response for any time danger is determined on any of the school’s buildings.
“In this case, as the notification came via social media, we wanted to act as quickly as possible to determine the seriousness of the situation,” he said.
Nebelsick said that he appreciates living in a community where questions can be asked and things determined without getting bogged down and accusatory in the process.
“We all work together to be ahead of a situation,” he added, “so that we can get assistance when needed.”
“Each situation is considered as serious from the outset,” Van Diepen said. “We want to stay ahead and investigate quickly. I would much rather answer questions on why we did what we did after a situation is resolved than answer the questions that would be asked afterward if we hadn’t acted on information we had.”
“In the end,” Nebelsick said, “parents want to know that their children are safe. All I can say is that we are doing all we can to make schools as safe as we can.”