LAUGHLIN — Principal Dawn Estes confirmed Tuesday that Laughlin High School was the target of a threat deemed credible by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Estes said that Metro was contacted, investigated the threat and made an arrest after determining there was a credible threat to the safety of school personnel and students. Estes did not provide any information on the person arrested nor on how school officials learned of the threat. The name and age of the person arrested have not been made public.
Las Vegas Metro’s Laughlin Substation was not directly involved in the investigation; Metro sent investigators from Las Vegas. The LVMPD did not respond to requests for additional information on Tuesday.
In a letter dated Oct. 16, Estes informed parents students and community members.
“My top priority is to ensure your child is safe at school, and to keep you informed of important issues happening within and around our school community,” she wrote. “Last night (Oct. 15), we received information about a threat made against our school. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department investigated the threat. Officers arrested an individual off-campus.”
A copy of the letter was obtained by News West Publishing. In it, Estes also urged parents and students to engage in discussions about the matter.
“We want to emphasize to our community how seriously we take threats made to our school,” Estes wrote. “Students who make threats to a school can be charged with making a terroristic threat, among other serious crimes. Please have discussions with your child so that he or she understands the severe consequences that result from making threatening statements.”
She added: “It is important for students and parents to report any possible suspicious activity or behavior to SafeVoice, school administration and/or law enforcement.”
According to a report by The Educator’s School Safety Network, most threats made against schools in the 2018-19 school year turned out to be hoaxes. Law enforcement, however, has to treat each incident as credible until determined otherwise.
The ESSN compiles all reported threats to schools and provides some statistical insight.
According to that report’s key findings, in the 2018-2019 school year, 6% of all tracked incidents involved an actual school shooting. An additional 4.5% involved shots being fired on school grounds and another 13.6% involved a gun that was found in a school but not fired. For the purpose of the report, an incident was categorized as a “shooting” when shots were deliberately fired on the campus of a school with the intent to cause harm. An event was categorized as “shots fired” when a weapon was discharged on school grounds in an incident that was not considered targeted violence.