Parents of Great Bend High School students were notified Thursday morning that someone wrote “March 7 Shool Shooting” on a bathroom wall the day before. GBHS Principal Tim Friess said cameras were used to eliminate most possible suspects. The Great Bend Police Department was notified and the investigation is continuing, although officials found this was not a credible threat.
This email was sent to people who have children in the school, via Skyward, the district’s internal communications network:
“On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, it was discovered that someone had written on the wall in the west stall of the upstairs men’s bathroom, ‘March 7 Shool Shooting.’ School was misspelled. By using the cameras, the number of possibilities was eliminated to about half a dozen students. These students were questioned and no direct information or capabilities were discovered. There does not seem to be any apparent significance to the date March 7.
“Of the students and parents contacted, there is not any immediate availability or capability of carrying out a shooting. This matter has been turned over to the Police who will do more investigation and can investigate off school property. If you happen to overhear any information please report it to a GBHS Principal. Thank you for your help in this matter. Tim Friess, Principal.”
Jennifer Schartz, public information director for Great Bend USD 428, said the message on the bathroom wall was discovered by a student during the school day on Wednesday and reported to officials, but she did not know what time that occurred. “The message was found only in the men’s room,” she said.
“We are telling the kids, ‘if you see something, say something,’ and it seems to be working,” Schartz said. “Students are stepping up and doing what they can.”
Although no new precautions have been taken, the district is taking “the toughest stance possible” and treating this seriously, Schartz said. There is no increased police presence at the school now, but there will be on March 7, she added.
The school district and the GBPD maintain a school liaison officer who has an office at the high school.