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GOODING — Gooding police detained a middle school student Tuesday and charges are pending after the boy reportedly made a school shooting threat.

Police were notified late Monday night about a possible threat at the Gooding Elementary School and Gooding Middle School campus, Police Chief Dave Fisher said.

The student was detained Tuesday morning when he arrived at school.

“The student who made the threat was identified, detained immediately after getting off of the school bus, and searched for any weapons,” the Gooding Police Department said in a statement on its Facebook page. No weapons were found.

The student was suspended and isn’t at school, Fisher said, and charges are pending. The boy has had ongoing issues and police have been dealing with him for the last several weeks, he added.

As students arrived Tuesday morning at Gooding’s three school campuses, there was a police presence and only one entrance was open at each school.

The soft lockdown was lifted later that morning, and there’s no longer an active threat to the safety of students and school employees, police said in a statement. Schools resumed normal activities.

Gooding School District Superintendent Spencer Larsen wasn’t immediately available to comment Tuesday. But in a statement on the Gooding School District’s Facebook page, he wrote: “Officers apprehended the student in question as he exited the bus. No weapons were found in his bag, on his person, or in his locker. The student is not in school and there is no active threats to students or the school.”

In Wendell, all three schools went into a modified lockdown Tuesday morning — meaning children stayed in their classrooms and school building doors were locked — after a social media message threatened violence toward an individual student.

The Gooding County Sheriff’s Office determined the threat wasn’t credible before the school day started, Wendell School District Superintendent Greg Lowe said. But schools stayed in a lockdown until about 9 a.m. as an emergency response drill. “We used it as a learning experience.”

Sheriff’s deputies were at Wendell Middle School and Wendell High School as students arrived at school. The school district sent out a text message alert to school employees and parents.

The social media message threatening violence was sent by a cousin of a Wendell student, Lowe said. Sheriff’s deputies are working to figure out where the person lives, he said, but they’re likely from either Washington or Nevada.

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The Gooding and Wendell incidents are the latest in a string of school threats affecting Magic Valley schools following a Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla. high school, where 17 people were killed.

Last week, Mini-Cassia schools dealt with four days of social media threats. On Thursday, local and state law enforcement swept Declo High School after a threat mentioning a bomb at the school was posted on an Instagram account.

In Twin Falls, police served a warrant for the arrest of a boy they say pulled a gun on students of Magic Valley High School at an intersection not far from campus. The incident happened after an argument between two students continued when classes dismissed, Twin Falls police said in a Friday statement.

A separate teenager, a 17-year-old, has been charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, police said. Authorities would not disclose the names of the people involved.

Jerome police announced Friday a social media threat toward a Jerome High School student was false and “no actual, serious threat was present.” Filer High School was placed on a soft lockdown Friday afternoon after a Snapchat message depicted a person students knew driving with a gun.


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