HURON — The Huron School District and Huron Police Department issued a joint statement late Tuesday afternoon, sharing information of an alleged “graffiti threat” at Huron High School and steps that are being taken to ensure student safety.
According to the statement sent by Superintendent Terry Nebelsick, Huron High School Principal Mike Radke and School Resource Officer (SRO) Phillip Van Diepen learned last Thursday from a parent that a student had reported seeing pencil graffiti in early October, on a stall in a boys’ bathroom, which read: “school shooting October 31.”
When the student returned to the restroom the following day, he did not see the graffiti. During the two-week period afterward, the student shared this information with another student, who in turn shared the information with a parent, who notified school officials on Oct. 18. An inspection by Radke and Van Diepen revealed no trace of the graffiti. It was verified that the student saw the graffiti, but as of this time there are no leads to follow as to its author.
Neither Huron Police Chief Kevin Van Diepen nor Superintendent Nebelsick believe there is a valid threat, as this event occurred very near the time frame that Brookings High School was dealing with a highly publicized threat. Both feel it is likely that the student who wrote the graffiti returned and removed it on the same day.
Nebelsick said that school will be in session and additional officers will assist the SRO with school safety leading up to and including Oct. 31. Nebelsick also noted that the HHS Student Council sponsored “Trick or Treat Street” will go on as planned, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. that evening, and that Chief Van Diepen will be present to join the principals and faculty in supervising the event.
Similar to a weather emergency, school officials acknowledge that each student’s parents will determine whether their child attends school that day or the events that evening.
The police will continue to look for leads, and encourage anyone with information to contact them at 353-8550.